A new species of leeches discovered in the Arctic

Scientists from the Russian Federal Center for Arctic Studies have discovered a new species of leeches in the Arctic regions of Russia.

And they announced that it should be included in the Red Book of Rare Animals.

This was announced on Tuesday, December 21, by the head of the center, Ivan Bolotov, to the Russian TASS agency.

He said: “Earlier it was believed that leeches in Russia were well studied and the discovery of their new species was impossible for science. An island where no one had ever collected leeches before.” “The discovery of a new species and genus of leeches was very unexpected. According to genetic data, this genetic line is very isolated, with its own genome. This is an ancient leech. Its discovery can be compared to the discovery of a new bear or whale.”

The Russian scientist pointed out that the leech was called (Hyperboreomyzon polaris), and its groups were found on the Putorana Plateau and Kolgoev Island, then another discovery was made in a lake located in the polar Ural Mountains, where a new species was discovered called Glossphonia arctica. And he discovered This species of leeches is found only in one lake in the Polar Urals, and this is also an unexpected discovery. We knew practically nothing about it, except that it exists. We do not know what it eats, and whether it is common in the Polar Urals. It’s very interesting because there aren’t many species that can be found in Arctic regions.”

He added that zoologists consider it necessary to include the species and genera found in the region in the Red Book of Rare Animals of Russia.

Bolotov emphasized the importance of studying leeches, especially from the point of view of their effect on fish and birds. According to him, “leeches harm valuable fish species, such as salmon, and also have a harmful effect on waterfowl, reducing their numbers.”

Source: TASS