subclass of worms

Leeches are annelids, a kind of worm (ground creature) that lives in wet places. All leeches are carnivorous, that is, they eat mainly meat, but some are also haemophagic; this means they drink the blood of other animals. They are sometimes helpful in medicine. They are often used to reduce blood clots. They were used to suck the blood of patients a long time ago, before we knew about germs and that losing blood is bad for health.

Temporal range: Silurian – recent
Sucking leech.jpg
Hirudo medicinalis sucking blood
Europäischer-Platt-Egel cropped.jpg
Helobdella sp.
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Annelida
Class: Clitellata
Subclass: Hirudinea
Lamarck, 1818



  • Sawyer, Roy T. 1986. Leech Biology and Behaviour. Vol 1-2. Clarendon Press, Oxford