UPD: 22 February 2018—Publication, etc.
This web page is no more updated, and the URL will be unavailabe after 30 Apr 2018;
Please visit my personal webpage at the Laboratory of Systematic Zoology, Kyoto University.
Leeches (members of the subclass Hirudinida) are well known as "boold-suckers". On the other hand, this taxon also contains many predaceous leeches. I specialize in Systematic Hirudinilogy focusing especially on such non-blood sucking taxa. During my study, I have described 8 Orobdella species from Japan as well as Taiwan. In addition to these new species descriptions, I have clarified taxonomic status of the known leeches, e.g. Orobdella whitmani Oka, 1895 and Mimobdella japonica Blanchard, 1897, which were described more than 100 years ago. These leech studies have been carried out with many research collaborators.
I have conducted leech surveys not only in Japan, but also in the other Asian countries: Malaysia, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. There are still many undescribed leech species in Asia. These leeches should be described as a new species, and their phylogenetic positions should be estimated by appropriate methods in the future. Only systematic studies can reveal the true species diversity and evolutionary history of leeches.