Allotment holder David Meagher has uncovered a county first on his Bognor Regis plot.
David came across a species of terrestrial leech which had never been recorded in Sussex before.
The sighting of the Trocheta subviridis has been added to the species database kept by the Sussex Biodiversity Record Centre.
Glenwood Close resident David found the leech on his organic plot at Brooks Lane. He said: “I was digging quite heavy clay when I noticed the specimen which didn’t look like a worm.
“It is a pack of muscle with a splade-like flat tail. At first, I thought it was a flat worm but realised it did look like a leech I found in my pond.”
He contacted the biodiversity centre which confirmed it was a first sighting for Sussex.
Lois Mayhew, the centre’s biodiversity data support officer, told David few people bothered to record leeches.
“So, it’s not that this leech is particularly rate, more that sadly no-one is particularly looking for and recording it. This makes records like yours all the more valuable.”
The species of leech, about two inches long, feeds exclusively on worms. An expert told David suckers at both ends of its body enable it to eat worms as humans eat spaghetti.
The leech has been put back on to the allotment.
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