Skip to main content

Table 4 Terrestrial haematophagous leeches versus other sources of iDNA [13, 15, 16, 8189]

From: iDNA from terrestrial haematophagous leeches as a wildlife surveying and monitoring tool – prospects, pitfalls and avenues to be developed

  Terrestrial leeches Blow/Flesh flies Mosquitos Ticks
Geographical distribution The Indo-Pacific, incl. Madagascar, Australia and Tasmania Worldwide Worldwide Worldwide
Invertebrate activity Seasonal variation (moisture dependent) Seasonal variation Seasonal variation Seasonal variation
Collection efficiency High High Medium Low
Collection method By hand/trap Traps Traps By hand/nets
Diet Haematophagous Saprophagous Coprophagous Flesh-eating Haematophagous Haematophagous
Potential feeding bias Between classes of vertebrates, species dependent Between classes of vertebrates, primarily mammals Between and within classes of vertebrates, single host specificity documented, species dependent Between and within classes of vertebrates, single host specificity documented, species dependent
Size of “host”-meal <15 mL <60 μL 2-10 μL <1 mL
Multiple detectable meals Possibly Yes Yes Yes
Percentage of samples containing amplifiable host DNA 20–85 % 20–50 % 40–80 % 40–50 %
Host individual ID Yes Yes (1 %) Yes (30 %) N/A
Temporal scale (Time last meal remains detectable) Months–1 year Days <1 week Weeks - 10 months (depending on life cycle stage)
Spatial scale (Distance from last “meal” to collection site) < 1 km < few kilometres Few meters Few meters