During the summer of 2013, collection of glossiphoniid leeches from turtles in southern New England U.S.A. revealed several new host associations and geographic distribution records. Placobdella ali is reported for the first time from Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Placobdella hollensis is reported for the first time from mainland Rhode Island and for the first time from the common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) and the stinkpot turtle or common musk turtle (Sternotherus odoratus). Helobdella papillata and Helobdella modesta were collected from common snapping turtles, and Helobdella lineata was collected from a stinkpot turtle. Data on the frequency of association of Helobdella spp. with aquatic vertebrates suggest that although Helobdella spp. are not parasitic, a symbiotic relationship likely exists between Helobdella spp. and their hosts, the nature of which is yet to be elucidated.
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Vol. 82 • No. 2