Xerobdella lecomtei von Frauenfeld, 1868

European land leech


Taxonomy & Nomenclature



Conservation Status


Last record: 2001-2005.


It has been hypothesised that a 3°c average summer temperature rise over the period 1961-2004 induced by humans caused the extinction of the species (Kutschera et al., 2007).



Birch forests near Graz, Austria


Biology & Ecology







A possible photograph of this species can be found here.



Original scientific description:

Frauenfeld, G. R. (1868). Ein neuer Landegel aus Osterreich, Verh. K.K. Zool.-bot. Gesell. Wein 18: 147-149.


Other references:

Borda, E.; Oceguera-Figueroa, A.; Siddall, M.E. (2008). On the Classification, Evolution and Biogeography of Terrestrial Haemadipsoid Leeches (Hirudinida: Arhynchobdellida: Hirudiniformes). Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 46: 142-154.

Brigić, A.; Medak, K.; Rebrina, F.; Jelić, M.; Alegro, A.; Kerovec, M. (2022). Ecology and Biology of the Rare Endemic Land Leech Xerobdella anulata (Xerobdellidae). Diversity 14: 701.

Rhett A. Butler, (August 26, 2007). European blood-sucker falls victim to global warming. Available from:

Fontaine, B. et al. (2007). The European union’s 2010 target: Putting rare species in focus. Biological Conservation 139(1-2): 167-185.

Holmes, Branden. (2021). What's Lost and What Remains: The Sixth Extinction in 100 Accounts (eBook). Self published.

Kutschera, U., Pfeiffer, I. and Ebermann, E. (2007). The European land leech: biology and DNA-based taxonomy of a rare species that is threatened by climate warming. Naturwissenschaften 94: 967-974.

Moosbrugger, G. and Reisinger, E. (1971). Zur Kenntnis des europäischen Landblutegels Xerobdella lecomtei (Frauenfeld). Z Wiss Zool 183: 1-50.

Penecke, K. A. (1896). Bemerkungen über Verbreitung und Lebensweise von Xerobdella lecomtei Frauenfeld. Zool Anz 19: 412-413.

Reisinger, E. (1951). Lebensweise und Verbreitung des europäischen Landblutegels (Xerobdella lecomtei Frauenfeld). Carinthia II 141: 110-124.

Schuster, F. (1909). Beiträge zur Kenntnis der Xerobdella lecomtei v. Frauenfeld. Zoologischer Anzeiger 35: 75-83.

Trontelj, P., Sket, B. and Steinbruck, G. (1999). Molecular phylogeny of leeches: congruence of nuclear and mitochondrial rDNA data sets and the origin of bloodsucking. J. Zool. Sys. Evol. Res. 37(3): 141-147.

GenBank [url=]sequence[/url]


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