Posted: 04.01.2023 14:15:00

Russian scientists discovered new species of leeches in the Arctic

Scientists from the Ural branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, in collaboration with employees of St. Petersburg State University, have identified a new species of leeches in the Arctic. Now experts are calling for them to be included in the Red Book – as reported by with reference to a study published in the journal Scientific Reports.


Leeches are named Hyperboreomyzon polaris. They were detected in samples from Kolguev Island and the Putorana Plateau. Moreover, another species was discovered in an alpine lake in the polar Urals – the Arctic glossiphonia (Glossphonia arctica).

So far, biologists underline that no details about nutrition and habitat have been revealed. If the discovered new species can only be found in the polar Urals, this is of particular scientific interest, since there are not so many species that would be characteristic of the Arctic territories. There is a possibility that such leeches can have a harmful effect on valuable fish species, such as salmon fishes.