I have a leech - probably not considered a pet but I'm caring for it until I can work out where it came from and return it.

I also have some Damsel fly nymphs that seem to be growing well (all are being kept in seperate 2L kilner jars complete with pond weed - though the leech is in a smaller bisto jar)

So far I've been feeding the leech a water snail every third or fourth day depending on how long it's taken for it to digest the last one - its really obvious and quite fascinating to be able to see.

The last few days I've noticed the leech has these small orangey-pink balls within it's body. I know they are a hermaphrodite species but can they breed themselves?

The leech is about 1cm long, a very light tan colour with two lines of darker dots running parallel down its back. I've added a picture though the quality isn't that good.

Basically I'm wondering if you could tell me whether this is a species native to britain, where in the country it would be from and any care tips would be gratefully received.

Post's pictures

11138559_10152777086125233_36267846619721544_n.jpg, 82.89 kb, 960 x 538

Who says a leech doesn't make a good pet?!

There are actually quite a few leeches native to Britain so in all likelihood it was living naturally where you found it. I can't ID the species I am afraid as a) I'd need a better picture and b) I'd need a good key which I don't have access to. Broadly speaking it sounds as though you are providing appropriate care though. I would keep the jar somewhere relatively cool (i.e. not on a windowsill in direct sunlight) and change the water every few days if you can (using rain or pond water not tap water which has chlorine in).

Leeches are hermaphroditic (i.e. both male and female) but  - to my knowledge - they are not self fertilising. So if yours is producing eggs it may well have received sperm from another individual prior to your findng it.