A new species of leech, discovered by an international team of scientists, has a preference for living up noses.
Researchers say the leech can enter the body orifices of people and animals to attach itself to mucous membranes.
They have called the new blood-sucking species Tyrannobdella rex which means tyrant leech king.
The creature was first discovered in 2007 in Peru when a specimen was plucked from the nose of a girl who had been bathing in a river.
The creature lives in the remote parts of the Upper Amazon and has a “particularly unpleasant habit of infesting humans”, the scientists say.
Studies also revealed that it had “a preference for living up noses”. The research published their findings in the online scientific journal PLoS One .
Dr. Renzo Arauco-Brown, from the School of Medicine at the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia in Lima, was the medical doctor who extracted the leech and preserved sent it a zoologist in the US.
The zoologist, Dr Mark Siddall, from the American Museum of Natural History in New York, was quick to recognise it as a new species. He said it had some very unusual features, including just one single jaw, eight very large teeth and extremely small genitalia. …