Original paper

The relationship between length, mass and preservation time for three species of freshwater leeches (Hirudinea)

Edwards, François K. Lauridsen; Armand, Lucie; Vincent, Helen M.; Jones, Iwan J.


We present body length to wet mass, dry mass and ash-free dry mass equations for three common species of Northern European leeches. We quantified the effects of preservation in alcohol on specimens of these species and found important reductions in both body length and wet mass. However, effects on length-mass relationships were minimal. We found no clear pattern across species between the rates of loss of length and mass and either water or inorganic content, though larger specimens of all three species were less affected by these losses. We recommend specimens are preserved in alcohol for a least a month for the rate of loss to stabilise.


hirudineapreservationbiomassdry massash free dry masslength-mass relationshipshelobdella stagnalis lglossiphonia complanata lerpobdella octoculata l