18 August 2006

A chocolate covered slug

arufus

Last Monday I was at the University of Maryland, visiting my friend Megan's lab. Megan is studying slugs for her Ph.D. One of the many specimens she had was this Arion rufus. It was actually a rather large individual, but it refused to stretch itself out and preferred to remain contracted in the shape of a hump that is characteristic of many Arion species.

Arion rufus, a native of Europe, has been introduced into the U.S. This particular specimen came from the Seattle area. There are many other color varieties of this species, including red, black and lighter shades of brown.

Incidentally, the species was described by Linnaeus in 1758.

4 comments:

clare said...

Yuuurgh. A very cruel joke. I love chocolate and this looks delicious.

Anonymous said...

We have these things everywhere where I live in Switzerland. Dozens and dozens on the sidewalks in the morning. I am always surprised more birds don't eat them, they seem like a very abundant food source.

clare said...

So that's where Swiss chocolate comes from. Next time I pick up a Toblerone I'll bear that in mind.

Tristram Brelstaff said...

I've got one but mine is orange.