02 March 2007

Beebe's slug

Naturalist, explorer, author William Beebe's account1 of a slug he encountered while studying pheasants in the Himalayas in 1910:

The great mollusk crept along the damp bark, leaving a broad shining wake of mucus, then tacked slowly and made its way back. In the meantime various creatures, several flies and spiders and two wood-roaches, had sought to cross or alight on the sticky trail and had been caught. Down upon them bore the giant slug and, inevitable as fate, reached and crushed them, sucking down the unfortunates beneath its leaden sides, its four, eyed tentacles playing horribly all the while.

Beebe took the slug. Cockerell described it as Anadenus beebei in 1913. But in 2001, Andrzej Wiktor determined that name to be a junior synonym of a much older one, Anadenus altivagus, that Theobald had given to the same species in 1862.

1From Beebe's book Pheasant Jungles (1927), cited in Carol Grant Gould, The Remarkable Life of William Beebe (2004).

1 comment:

burning silo said...

That's rather a colorful field journal entry - almost reads more like a passage out of a horror novel.