Checklist of Freshwater Leeches (Hirudinea) in Serbia

Ivana Živić1, Ana Cvetković1, Milenka Božanić1, Anđelina Radojević1, Katarina Stojanović1

 

1 University of Belgrade - Faculty of Biology, Studentski trg 16, 11000 Belgrade; Phone and fax numbers: +381641642258; +381112638500; E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

Abstract

A checklist of Hirudinea in the fauna of Serbia is presented on the basis of published data and investigations carried out during the period of 2011-2015. A total of 39 species from 16 genera and five families are recorded. The following species are new for the fauna of Serbia: Erpobdella lineata (Muller, 1774); Dina punctata (Johansson, 1927); Dina prokletijaca (Grosser & Pešić, 2016); and Glossiphonia balcanica (Grosser & Pešić, 2016). Batracobdella algira (Moquin-Tandon, 1846) should be deleted from previously published checklists (Mikuska, 1983) because its finding was designated as uncertain and the presence of the species in Serbia has not been subsequently confirmed to date. Moreover, the species Hirudo medicinalis (Linnaeus, 1758) should also be deleted and all of findings assigned to the species H. verbana (Carena, 1820), since molecular analyses have established that only the species H. verbana lives on the territory of Serbia (Živić et al. 2015), previous identifications based solely on morphological characters having been unquestionably erroneous. The species Trocheta bykowskii, whose finding was recorded by Sket (1968), should be retained until further investigations clarify whether this is actually the species inquirenda or whether it is in fact Trocheta cylindrica, as presumed by Grosser et al. (2014).

Keywords: leeches, species new for the fauna of Serbia, checklist.

Introduction

 

Although research on the fauna of leeches in the Balkans has a long tradition (Augener, 1925, 1926), the fauna of Serbia has been poorly investigated. Data on the diversity of leeches were published first by Sket (1968), then by Šapkarev (1975), and subsequently by Mikuska (1983), who asserted that 19 species of leeches live on the territory of Serbia and noted that the occurrence of Batracobdella algira (Moquin-Tandon, 1846) is possible, but uncertain, its presence having been recorded on the basis of a specimen very similar to this species that was found in the Danube River near Vinča (Mikuska, 1983). The finding of this species on the territory of Serbia has not been definitely confirmed to date and it should not be included in the checklist. According to the second published checklist of the fauna of Serbian leeches (Grosser et al. 2014), the territory of Serbia is inhabited by 28 species from 12 genera and five families. The list of Grosser et al. (2014) does not include some earlier known findings of leeches that were published in the paper of Sket (1968), while the finding of Trocheta danastrica (Stschegolew, 2009) was not published as it is new for the fauna of Serbia, although available evidence indicated that it was (Grosser and Epshtein, 2009). Moreover, the finding of Trocheta bykowskii recorded by Sket (1968) was considered doubtful by Grosser et al. (2014), who assigned it to the species Trocheta cylindrica, although they did not elaborate in detail the reasons why they considered it to be T. cylindrica instead of T. bykowskii.

After these investigations, many authors at the end of the 20th and beginning of the 21st century published papers dealing with leeches, but only as part of the communities of macroinvertebrates of aquatic ecosystems (Filipović, 1954; Barčkov, 1973; Simić, 1993; Simić et al. 1994, 1997; Konta, 1997; Marković et al. 1997, 1998, 1999, 2011, 2012, 2014; Marković, 1998; Martinović-Vitanović, 1995, 2004; Miljanović, 2001; Djikanović et al. 2008; Novaković, 2012; Paunović, 2001, 2004; Paunović et al. 2007, 2008, 2012; Popović et al. 2013; Živić, 2005; Živić et al. 1997, 2001, 2008, 2015; Tubić et al. 2013).

Summarizing data published since 1968 by all of the authors indicated above (taking into account any uncertainties pointed out by them in connection with the presence of individual species and their status) and on the basis of our own investigations of freshwater leeches in Serbia conducted during the periods of 2000-2004 and 2011-2015, we present a list of all species that have been registered there to date in the following pages.

 

Results and Discussion

A total of 39 species from 16 genera and five families have been recorded to date in the fauna of freshwater leeches of Serbia. The following species have been recorded here as new for the fauna of Serbia: Erpobdella lineata (Muller, 1774); Dina punctata (Johansson, 1927); Dina prokletijaca (Grosser & Pešić, 2016) and Glossiphonia balcanica (Grosser & Pešić, 2016).

The family Erpobdellidae has the greatest number of species in the fauna of Serbia, while the family Haemopidae has the smallest number of species. Erpobdella octooculata is the species found at the greatest number of localities in Serbia. The species Alboglossiphonia heteroclita (Linnaeus, 1761), which has been recorded at a number of localities in Serbia, in some studies is listed as Glossiphonia heteroclita (in reality a synonym for Alboglossiphonia heteroclita) and as such has been registered in the Southern Morava, Moravica (Sokobanjska), and Toplica Rivers, as well as in the stream Kereš Potok near Subotica, in the lake Ludaško Jezero, and in Novi Kneževac (Mikuska, 1983); and in Novi Pazar (Sket, 1968).

Batracobdella algira (Moquin-Tandon, 1846) should be deleted from previously published checklists (Mikuska, 1983) because its finding was designated as uncertain (Sket, 1968) and the presence of the species in Serbia has not been subsequently confirmed to date. Moreover, the species Hirudo medicinalis (Linnaeus, 1758) should also be deleted and all localities where it was found (the Danube River at Pančevo: Sket, 1968; Kačanik: Šapkarev, 1975; the lake Ludaško Jezero, Paraćin, and Mrsać: Mikuska, 1983; the Sitnica and Ibar Rivers: Živić et al. 1997; a drinking fountain at the Iriški Venac locality on Mt. Fruška Gora: Marković, 1998; the river Toponička Reka: Živić et al. 2001; the stream Jelenački Potok: Živić et al. 2008; and the drainage area of the Southern Morava River: Živić et al. 2005) should be assigned to the species H. verbana (Carena, 1820), since molecular analyses showed that specimens belonging to the species Hirudo medicinalis are not found on the territory of Serbia, but rather only specimens of the sister species Hirudo verbana, which can be relegated to five haplotypes (Živić et al. 2015). It follows that earlier identifications based solely on morphological characters of specimens from the above-mentioned localities were unquestionably erroneous.

 

Family Glossiphoniidae Vaillant, 1890

Genus Alboglossiphonia Lukin, 1976

1. Alboglossiphonia hyalina O.F. Muller, 1774

Distribution in Serbia: The Danube River (Tubić et al. 2013); Beljanica, Lomnička bara pond; Valjevac, Zasavica (Grosser et al. 2014).

2. Alboglossiphonia striata Apathy, 1888

Distribution in Serbia: Sremska Mitrovica, Zasavica, Valjevac (Grosser et al. 2014).

3. Alboglossiphonia heteroclita Linnaeus, 1761 (syn. Glossiphonia heteroclita)

Distribution in Serbia: Novi Pazar (Sket, 1968); Kereš Potok near Subotica, the lake Ludaško Jezero, Novi Kneževac (Mikuska, 1983); the Danube River (Paunović et al. 2007; Marković et al. 2014; Tubić et al. 2013; Popović et al. 2013); brooks in the Belgrade region (Marković et al. 2012); the Sitnica and Ibar Rivers (Živić et al. 1997); the Toplica River, the Southern Morava River (Živić, 2005).

Note: This species in some studies appears under the synonym of Glossiphonia heteroclita and was recorded as such in the Southern Morava, Moravica (Sokobanjska), and Toplica Rivers (Živić, 2005); in the stream Kereš Potok near Subotica, the lake Ludaško Jezero, and Novi Kneževac (Mikuska, 1983); and in Novi Pazar (Sket, 1968).

Genus Glossiphonia Johnson, 1816

4. Glossiphonia complanata Linnaeus, 1758

Distribution in Serbia: The lake Ludaško Jezero, Kereš Potok near Subotica, Novi Kneževac, Sremski Karlovci, Negotin, Paraćin (Mikuska, 1983); the Gaberska reka River, the Toplica River, the Southern Morava River (Živić, 2005); the Great Morava River (Marković et al. 2011); the Southern Morava River (Novaković, 2012); the Sava River (Paunović, 2004; et al. 2008); the Golijska Moravica River (Đikanović et al. 2008); the Danube River (Paunović et al. 2007; Tubić et al. 2013; Popović et al. 2013); the Svrljiški and Trgoviški Timok Rivers (Simić, 1993); the Lomnička reka River (Konta, 1997); Pešter Plateau, Karajukića Bunari, the lake Veliko Jezero (Grosser et al. 2014).

5. Glossiphonia concolor Apathy, 1888

Distribution in Serbia: Pešter Plateau: Sjenica, marsh, river Vapa (Sjenica), Mt. Tara, Mala Batura (Grosser et al., 2014).

6. Glossiphonia nebulosa Kalbe, 1964

Distribution in Serbia: Sjenica, marsh (Pešter Plateau), hamllet of village Rsovci (Pirot, Mt. Stara planina; Grosser et al. 2014).

7. Glossiphonia paludosa Carena, 1824 (syn. Batracobdella paludosa Johansson, 1929)

Distribution in Serbia: The lake Ludoško jezero, Paraćin (Mikuska, 1983)

8. Glossiphonia balcanica Grosser & Pešić (2016)

Distribution in Serbia: Dečani, spring Toplla (Kosovo) (Grosser et al. 2016). New for fauna of Serbia.

Genus Theromyzon Philippi, 1867

9. Theromyzon tessulatum O.F. Muller, 1774

Distribution in Serbia: fishpond "Kapetanski rit" near Kanjiža; the lake Ludoško jezero (Mikuska, 1983)

Genus Helobdella R. Blanchard, 1896

10. Helobdella stagnalis Linnaeus 1758

Distribution in Serbia: Alibunar, Makiš near Belgrade, Zaječar, Popučka near Valjevo (Sket, 1968); Kereš Potok near Subotica, the lake Ludaško Jezero, Novi Kneževac, Martonoš, Negotin (Mikuska, 1983); Grošnička reka River (Baračkov, 1973); waters of Kragujevac region (Simić et al. 1994); the Danube River (Simić et al. 1997); Sokobanja, the lake Bovansko jezero, Pešter Plateau, Tutin, Djerekare (Grosser et al. 2014); the Sava River (Paunović et al. 2012); the Danube River (Paunović et al. 2007; Marković et al. 2014; Tubić et al. 2013, Popović et al. 2013); brooks of Belgrade region (Marković et al. 2012); the Great Morava River (Marković et al. 2011); the Southern Morava River (Novaković, 2012); the Sitnica and Ibar Rivers (Živić et al. 1997); the Jablanica, Pusta reka, Veternica, Banjska Vranjska reka, Jerma, Ribarska reka and Toplica Rivers, the Southern Morava River (Živić, 2005)

Genus Hemiclepsis Vejdovsky, 1884

11. Hemiclepsis marginata O.F. Muller, 1774

Distribution in Serbia: Kereš Potok near Subotica, Novi Kneževac, Negotin, Paraćin (Mikuska, 1983); Zaječar (Sket, 1968); Toplica, Pusta reka, the Southern Morava River (Živić, 2005); Lomnička Bara pond (Planina Beljanica), Zasavica, Valjevac (Grosser et al. 2014); the Southern Morava River (Novaković, 2012).

Genus Heamenteria de Filippi, 1849 (syn. Placobdella Blanchard, 1893)

12. Haementeria costata Fr. Mȕller, 1864

Distribution in Serbia: Negotin, Paraćin (Mikuska, 1983); the Sitnica and Ibar Rivers (Živić et al. 1997), the Obnica and Kolubara Rivers (Miljanović, 2001)

 

Family Piscicolidae Johnston, 1865

Genus Caspiobdella Epshtein, 1966

13. Caspiobdella fadejewi Epshtein, 1961

Distribution in Serbia: The Danube River (Sket, 1968).

Genus Cystobranchus Diesing, 1859

14. Cystobranchus fasciatus (Kollar, 1842)

Distribution in Serbia: The Danube River near Kopački rit (Mikuska, 1983)

Genus Piscicola Blainville, 1818

15. Piscicola geometra Linnaeus, 1761

Distribution in Serbia: Kereš Potok near Subotica, fishpond "Kapetanski rit" near Kanjiža, the Danube River near Staklara and Dalja (Mikuska, 1983); the Sitnica and Ibar Rivers (Živić et al. 1997); the springhead of river Banja (Marković, 1998); the Banja River (tributary of the Kolubara River, Marković et al. 1997), the Obnica river (Miljanović, 2001); the Southern Morava River (Živić, 2005); the Sava River (Paunović et al. 2008, 2012); the Danube River (Paunović et al. 2007; Marković et al. 2012; Tubić et al. 2013); the Great Morava River (Marković et al. 2011).

16. Piscicola fadejewi Epstein, 1961

Distribution in Serbia: The Danube River near Prahovo (Sket, 1968).

 

Family Haemopidae Richardson, 1969

Genus Haemopis Savigny, 1822

17. Haemopis elegans Moquin-Tandon, 1846

Distribution in Serbia: Preševo (Grosser & Pešić, 2006).

18. Haemopis sanguisuga Linnaeus, 1758

Distribution in Serbia: The lake Ludaško Jezero, Kereš Potok near Subotica, Sremski Karlovci, Kučevo (Mikuska, 1983); the springhead of river Gradac (Marković, 1998); the Pusta reka River, the Blatašnica, Jošanička reka River, Toplica and Turija Rivers, the Southern Morava River (Živić, 2005); the Golijska Moravica River (Đikanović et al. 2008); the Sitnica and Ibar Rivers (Živić et al. 1997); the Gradska reka River (Martinović-Vitanović et al. 1995); the Svrljiški and Trgoviški Timok Rivers (Simić, 1993); Vrmdža Gorge, village Vrmdža (Mt. Rtanj), the Great War Island (Belgrade), the Danube River, Prijepolje, Kamena Gora, Crveni Potok mire (Pešter Plateau); the lake Veliko Jezero, Suvi Do stream, Trojanska česma (Trojan), Tepe (Grosser et al. 2014).

 

Family Hirudinidae Whitman, 1886

Genus Hirudo Linnaeus, 1758

19. Hirudo verbana Carena, 1820

Distribution in Serbia: Crveni Potok mire (Pešter Plateau), Karajukica Bunari-Mrtvaja, mire, the lake Veliko Jezero, Trojan (Pešter Plateau)(Grosser et al. 2014); Zasavica, Sečanj, Pančevački rit, Šabac, Jarkovac, Zrenjanin, Sremska Mitrovica, Obedska bara, Koviljski rit, Vršac, the Pusta reka River, the Blatašnica River, the Banjska Vranjska reka River, the Jošanička reka River, the Southern Morava, the Toponička reka River, the Nišava and Moravica Rivers, Jelenački stream (Živić et al. 2015).

Genus Limnatis Moquin-Tandon, 1826

20. Limnatis nilotica Savigny, 1820

Distribution in Serbia: Radivojce, Žegra, Dolni Livoč (the vicinity of Gnjilane; Šapkarev, 1975).

 

Family Erpobdellidae R. Blanchard, 1894

Genus Dina R. Blanchard, 1892

21. Dina absoloni Johansson, 1913

Distribution in Serbia: From the spring of Beli Drim near Peć (Sket, 1968); Rugovo (Peć) (Grosser et al. 2014)

22. Dina lineata O.F. Muller, 1774

Distribution in Serbia: The lake Ludoško jezero, Paraćin (Mikuska, 1983); the Southern Morava River (Novaković, 2012).

23. Dina lineata lineata O.F. Muller, 1774

Distribution in Serbia: Popučka (Valjevo); Prokuplje, Mt. Kopaonik, the Binička Morava River-Lučani (Mikuska, 1983); the Sitnica and Ibar Rivers (Živić et al. 1997); Tepe (Pešter Plateau) (Grosser et al. 2014).

24. Dina lineata dinarica Sket, 1968

Distribution in Serbia: The stream between Šerbat and Svinjište (near Preševo, Mt. Rujan); the River Vrelo (Mt. Tara); the Stračijevac karstic spring (Pešter Plateau), Tutin, the Đerekare karstic spring; Crvene Lokve karstic pond (Tutin, Mokra Gora), the spring Radovac (Peć); the spring Hadaj (Rugovo), the spring Istok (Grosser et al. 2014).

25. Dina cf. lineata montana Sket, 1968

Distribution in Serbia: The spring Dečanska Bistrica, the spring Pećka Bistrica, Rugova Gorge (Mikuska, 1983); Vrmdža Gorge, village Vrmdza (Mt. Rtanj) (Grosser et al. 2014).

26. Dina apathyi Gedroyć, 1916

Distribution in Serbia: Sremski Karlovci (Mikuska, 1983).

27. Dina minuoculata Grosser, Moritz & Pešić, 2007

Distribution in Serbia: Brodarevo, Mt. Ozren, Milakovići, small marsh (Grosser et al. 2014).

28. Dina punctata Johansson, 1927

Distribution in Serbia: The Danube River (Tubić et al. 2013). New for the fauna of Serbia.

29. Dina prokletijaca Grosser & Pešić, 2016

Distribution in Serbia: Istok town, Zatra, the Nenqershi spring; Peć, Zatra, the Kroni spring and Kadrushit; Peć, Zatra, spring Kroni and Bajram Brales; Peć, Kuqishte, the Gurra e Hakes spring; Peć, Rugovo, Boge, the Gurra e Dreshajve spring (Grosser et al. 2016). New for the fauna of Serbia.

Genus Erpobdella Blainville, 1918

30. Erpobdella octoculata Linnaeus, 1758

Distribution in Serbia: The Katušnica river (Filipović, 1954); the Grošnička reka River (Baračkov, 1973); Kereš Potok near Subotica, the lake Ludaško Jezero, Martonoš, Novi Kneževac, Sremski Karlovci, Negotin (Mikuska, 1983); Mileševo-Zaječar (Sket, 1968); the Svrljiški and Trgoviški Timok Rivers (Simić, 1993); the spring Tisavac, the spring Vojal, the spring Valja lu Stanoja, the spring in Zlot, the springhead of river Bela Reka, the spring Rudare (Prolom Banja 2), the springhead of river Gradac, the sping and sprinhead of river Sušica, the spring Hajdučka voda, the spring Maljen-1, the Popovo springhead, the springhead of river Povlen, the spring Volujac-1, the spring Bukovac-2, the spring near Vladimir's fountain, the small springhead of Ljubišnice, the fountain at Kokin Brod (near Zlatar Lake), fountain near the hotel "Centar" (Zlatar) (Marković, 1998); the Sava River (Paunović, 2004; Paunović et al. 2012); the Great Morava River (Marković et al. 2011); the brooks of the Belgrade region (Marković et al. 2012); the Southern Morava River (Novaković, 2012); the Golijska Moravica River (Đikanović et al. 2008); the Danube River (Martinović-Vitanović et al. 2004; Paunović et al. 2007, 2014; Tubić et al. 2013; Marković et al. 2014, Popović et al. 2013); the lake Bovansko jezero (Sokobanja), Karajukića Bunari-Mrtvaja (Pešter Plateau), Karajukića Bunari-Jezero, the Vapa River near Sjenica, the lake Veliko jezero (Grosser et al. 2014); the Banja River (pritoka Kolubare, Marković et al. 1997); the Kolubara and Obnica Rivers (Miljanović, 2001); the Grošnička reka River (Baračkov, 1973); the Blatašnica River, the Banjska Vranjska reka River, the Crvena reka River, the Dojkinačka reka River, the Gaberska reka River, the Gradska reka River, the Jošanička reka River, the Southern Morava, the Jerma River, the Banjska reka River, the Kosanica River, the Prolomska reka River, the Ribarska reka River, the Toplica River, the Turija River, the Gazdarska reka River, the Jablanica river, the Pusta reka River, the Vranjska reka River, the Veternica River (Živić, 2005).

31. Erpobdella nigricollis Brandes, 1900

Distribution in Serbia: Valjevac marsh (Zesavica, Sremska Mitrovica), the Lomnička Bara pond (Mt. Beljanica) (Grosser et al. 2014).

32. Erpobdella testacea Savigny, 1822

Distribution in Serbia: The Trojan karstic spring (Pešter Plateau, Grosser et al., 2014 ); the Svrljiški and Trgoviški Timok Rivers (Simić, 1993); the Grošnička reka River (Baračkov, 1973); waters of the Kragujevac region (Simić et al. 1994); the springhead of rivers Gradac and Banja, the Popovo springhead, the spring Zlatar-3, the spring in Aljanovići-1 (Stublina), the spring in Aljanovićima-2, the hot spring near Krupaja springhead, the upper and lower springhead of river Bela Reka (Marković, 1998); the Danube River (Simić et al. 1997; Paunović et al. 2007); the Kolubara and Obnica Rivers (Miljanović, 2001), the Kosanica River, the Banjska Kuršumlijska River, the Prolomska River, the Ribarska reka River, the Toplica River, the Turija River, the Banjska Vranjska reka River, the Crvena reka River, the Dojkinačka river, the Gaberska reka River, the Gradska reka River, the Lužnica River, the Jerma River, the Jošanička reka River, the Southern Morava, the Gazdarska reka River, the Jablanica River, the Kamenička reka River, the Pusta reka River, the Šumanska reka River, the Vranjska reka River, the Veternica river, the Vučjanska reka River (Živić, 2005); the Golijska Moravica River (Đikanović et al. 2008), the Southern Morava River (Novaković, 2012).

33. Erpobdella vilnensis Liskiewicz, 1925

Distribution in Serbia: The stream between Šerbat and Svinjište (near Preševo town, Mt. Rujan), the Trojan karstic spring (Pešter Plateau), Trojan, the upper bridge (Pešter Plateau), Trojanska česma, the karstic spring (Pešter Plateau), Tepe (Pešter Plateau), Trojan (Pešter Plateau), the karstic spring Vrelo (Brdo od ploča, Pešter Plateau), Tutin, Đerekare (Planina Beljanica), Rečke, Busovata, stream (Mt. Beljanica) (Grosser et al., 2014); Pešter Plateau (Lazarević et al. 2008).

34. Erpobdella monostriata Lindenfeld & Pietruszynski 1890

Distribution in Serbia: Sremski Karlovci (Mikuska, 1983).

35. Erpobdella lineata O. F. Muller, 1774

Distribution in Serbia: The Great Morava River (Marković et al. 2011). New for the fauna of Serbia.

Genus Trocheta Dutrochet, 1817

36. Trocheta dalmatina Sket, 1968

Distribution in Serbia: Šargan (Mt. Tara, near stream in Pinus wood) (Grosser et al. 2014)

37. Trocheta bykowskii Gedroyc, 1913

Distribution in Serbia: Košutnjak (Sket, 1968); Kraljevo, Mrsać, Štubik near Negotina (Mikuska, 1983).

38. Trocheta haskonis Grosser, 2000

Distribution in Serbia: Planina Miroč, Kopana Glavica, Jama in Laništu (Grosser, 2013).

39. Trocheta danastrica Stschegolew, 1938 (syn. Trocheta subviridis forma danastrica, Stschegolew 1938)

Distribution in Serbia: There are no precise data as to where specimens of this species were found, but it was probably in the region along the Sava River (Grosser and Epshtein, 2009).

Note: This is the largest European leech known by the name "Durdubak" and was exported from Serbia to different European countries. In external morphology, it strongly resembles the horse leech Haemopis sanguisuga. Its distribution in Serbia is unknown because nobody has studied this species in our country. Its taxonomic status was treated in detail by Grosser and Epshtein (2009).

 

Acknowledgements

The present study was supported by the Serbian Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development (project No. TR 31075).

 

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