8 Types Of Leeches

By Kel Fabie

Here’s a hot take: leeches suck. Leeches have always been considered pests, with the exception of when they’re used for medical purposes, where they still decidedly suck. But we don’t quite know just how ubiquitous leeches are until we recognize just how many kinds of them there are everywhere we look. Here’s 8List’s handy guide to that.

8. Freshwater leeches

The most common leeches we encounter are the freshwater leeches: parasitic leeches that we often encounter while swimming in ponds or rivers. These are the ones that really stick to us and ruin our good ol’ swimming holes, but are also often used for medicinal purposes.

Leech Rating: 8/10. They’re not the worst type of leech, given that their medicinal use is more than sufficient to make up for how much they suck.


7. Emotional leeches

Emotional leeches are the kinds of people who hang around you and never fail to make you emotionally. They are also sometimes referred to as emotional vampires or dementors, as they suck the joy out of your life by their mere presence. Think that friend who thinks peppering conversations with hugot, hugot, and even more hugot is the height of witty conversation.

Leech Rating: 7/10. Inasmuch as these emotional leeches exist, sometimes, they are genuine friends who are silently crying for help. While it would be easy to ignore them, there’s actually value in hearing them out before just brushing them off.


6. Marine leeches

Marine leeches feed on other marine life in the ocean depths, and rarely encounter human hosts for their leeching. These leeches actually tend to be very specific with their diet, eating only either bony or cartilaginous fish, but never both.

Leech Rating: 6/10 not nearly as useful as freshwater leeches for medicine, but far less likely to prey on humans, to begin with. It sorta balances out, except one has yet to ever see a genuinely aesthetically appealing leech (or do we?).


5. Backstabbing leeches

The leeches that keep asking you for help, yet when you don’t meet the lofty standards of help that they expect of you, end up badmouthing you instead.

Leech Rating: 5/10. They may be horrible now, but you normally were friends with these people for a reason first. But yeah, they still suck. Because they’re leeches, and that’s what they do.

4. Terrestrial leeches

Some leeches manage to live on land instead of water, but only in places of high humidity – like the Philippines, apparently! They mostly live in moist soil in rainforests, often in places like South America, Africa, and yes, Asia.

Leech Rating: 4/10. Yup, not as useful as freshwater leeches, and worse, even less leech-like because they aren’t found underwater – except, as we look closer, there are plenty of leeches that don’t reside aquatically…

3. Thieving leeches

These are often the ones who see something on the internet and think that because it’s online, it’s free for the taking. When called out, they normally actually get mad and think you should be grateful that they’re “exposing” your artwork to a larger audience. Disgusting, we know. The only good version of the thieving leeches are the ones in torrent sites who never fail to share their booty.

Leech Rating: 3/10. They’re terrible leeches, who prey on those who are doing well for themselves. Some of them may be useful, though, if you’re an unscrupulous pirate, but in the end, y’all get each other in trouble, y’know?

2. Jawless leeches

The least leechlike leech would have to be the jawless leeches. We know leeches to suck on their prey with viselike grips, but there are actually jawless types who instead use a proboscis to do their sucking. We generally don’t even recognize these as leeches when we meet them in the wild, unless we’re that nerdy about ‘em.

Leech Rating: 2/10. They’re so not like leeches, they barely count!


1. Cheapass leeches

These are the most parasitic of all leeches, and perhaps the most useless one at that. They’re the ones who should know better but insist on getting something for nothing, coasting on either their looks, celebrity, or reputation, and insisting that “exposure” would be more than enough payment for professional work. Yeah, sure. Next time you’re in the hospital, see how far “exposure” would get you on the surgery table. Is anyone “forced” to do this work? Heck, no! But why would anyone in their right mind think that work doesn’t deserve to be paid the same good money they get paid for their sorry excuse for work when they sing, dance, and “act?”

Rating: 0/10. Son. Of. A. Leech. Talk about useless! It’s these leeches who often think that creative work is something “anyone could do,” so think very little about paying money for it, yet invariably, always end up needing to turn to actual professionals as they clearly can’t do it themselves, because, for all their bluster, they’re actually talentless hacks who can only look down on something they can never do themselves just so they can feel better about themselves. And, in the fine words of one Ken Warren, you can hashtag #that.


What other leeches can you think of? Tell us below!

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