Horse Leech - Haemopis sanguisuga


Despite the name, it does not attack horses and indeed cannot bite mammalian skin at all. This species can be quite large, reaching up to 15cm. Their greenish colour and size helps to identify them.

Identification difficulty

They are very common around still water and can often be found under stones near to water.

When to see it

All year round

Life History

They feed on smaller animals such as midge larvae and snails but sometimes move onto land in search of earthworms. They are very sensitive to chemical traces in the water and find their prey this way.

UK Status

Widespread and common though under recorded in Britain.

VC55 Status

Commom in Leicestershire and Rutland.

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map