Kinabalu giant red leech

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Kinabalu giant red leech
Kinabalu leech.jpg
Kinabalu giant red leech
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Annelida
Class: Hirudinea
Order: Arhynchobdellida
Family: Salifidae
Genus: Mimobdella
Species: M. buettikoferi
Binomial name
Mimobdella buettikoferi
Blanchard, 1897

The Kinabalu giant red leech (Mimobdella buettikoferi) is a large bright orange-red coloured leech that is endemic to Mount Kinabalu, Borneo. It can grow to a length of over 50 cm (20 in).

The Kinabalu leech is not hematophagic and feeds only on worms such as the Kinabalu giant earthworm, Pheretima darnleiensis.[1] It lives in the damp leaf litter and soil that often accumulates in fissures. It can be found in Kinabalu Park at an elevation of 2,500 to 3,000 metres (8,200 to 9,800 ft) where the trail runs over a rocky outcrop near to the Mempening and Paka Cave shelters. It is usually seen during or after heavy downpours.[2]

Kinabalu giant red leech is currently classified under the genus Mimobdella of the family Salifidae. However Nakano (2011) has questioned its inclusion within the genus (as well as that of Mimobdella thienemani). The internal and external morphological characteristics of these two species do not fit the generic diagnostic criteria as established by the type species and the only other species in the genus - Mimobdella japonica.[3]


  1. ^ Blakemore, R.J., C. Csuzdi, M.T. Ito, N. Kaneko, T. Kawaguchi & M. Schilthuizen 2007. Taxonomic status and ecology of Oriental Pheretima darnleiensis (Fletcher, 1886) and other earthworms (Oligochaeta : Megascolecidae) from Mt Kinabalu, Borneo. PDF (16.4 KiB) Zootaxa 1613: 23–44.
  2. ^ Phillipps, A. & F. Liew 2000. Globetrotter Visitor's Guide – Kinabalu Park. New Holland Publishers (UK) Ltd.
  3. ^ Takafumi Nakano (2011). "Holotype redescription of Mimobdella japonica (Hirudinida, Arhynchobdellida, Erpobdelliformes) and taxonomic status of the genus Mimobdella" (PDF). ZooKeys. 119: 1–10. doi:10.3897/zookeys.119.1501. 

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