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New Species of Bloodsucking Leech Found Near DC

Researchers from the Smithsonian Institution have discovered a new species of bloodsucking leeches, this one with three jaws and 59 teeth, and surprise, surprise, they didn't find this slimy, disgusting creature on Capitol Hill or even at the White House.

Whether such creatures slink around in those locations, however, is open to debate.

Nope, these olive-green leeches were discovered by a team led by a researcher from the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History in the swamps of Charles County in southern Maryland.

The species was named Macrobdella Mimicus after the Greek word for "imitator" or "actor." About the size of a cigarette, it was the first time the creatures were found in the Washington area, although they typically live in the Piedmont region of the U.S. between the Appalachian Mountains and the Atlantic coast.

This article in The Washington Post includes an interview with Anna Phillips, the curator of parasitic worms at the Smithsonian. According to the article, she waded in murky waters for days wearing shorts -- with bar legs and sandals -- looking for leeches under wood, grass and trash in swampy, algae-covered ponds.

The researchers' findings were published this month in the Journal of Paristology, which describes the new species as a medicinal leech, such as those once used to cure any number of maladies like headaches and such.

Unlike political leeches, which actually can cause massive headaches, the kind discovered in slimy ponds and swamps are parasitic worms, some of which feed on the blood of their hosts. According to Phillips, leeches bite only when they're hungry and then, the bite doesn't even hurt. It just itches a little.

That's unlike the "bites" that we all suffer from politicians who leech onto our tax dollars or enrich themselves through political power at our expense.

Now we can argue all day which political party has the most voracious leeches -- the Republicans or the Democrats.

If you're a Republican, you will likely contend that the real bloodsuckers are the Democrats because they want to tax you to death and then give everything away to the shiftless, no-good lazy bums who do nothing but sponge off of the taxpayers.

If you're a Democrat, you'll likely argue that, no, the true bloodsuckers, the ones that are the most dangerous, are the Republicans who want to take away needed benefits for the poor and the elderly to fund tax cuts that benefit the wealthy.

Which is it? What do you think?

This is disgusting. I don't even know why I brought it up. It's just that when I read about those bloodsucking leeches with three jaws and 59 teeth, the first name that came to mind was Donald Trump. I have no idea why.

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