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Taxonomic group

Salifidae: Barbronia

Diagnostic features

Barbronia weberi is an introduced leech found mainly in ponds and slow flowing streams. Like other leeches they are visibly segmented, very flexible and there is a suction disc at the tail end. Barbronia is more elongated than most freshwater leeches, and they have a distinctive pattern of six eyes.

Typical habitats

Many of our records of Barbronia have come from urban stormwater treatment ponds, but they are also known from slow-flowing weedy streams.


The salifid family of leeches are predators of other freshwater invertebrates.

Indicator value

  • Hard bottom: unassigned; general leech value 3
  • Soft bottom: unassigned; general leech value 1.2

The tolerance values (ranging from 0 to 10) give an indication of which are the sensitive taxa (values of 8 or more) and which are the tolerant taxa (values of 3 or less). For more information see: Indicator species

Barbronia are common in some Auckland stormwater treatment ponds so they appear to be quite pollution tolerant. This genus has not been assigned tolerance values but the Subclass Hirudinea (leeches) have low tolerance values of 3 (hard bottom sites) and 1.2 (soft bottom sites).