26 March 2007

A slug hole


This is no ordinary tree hole. What distinguishes this particular tree hole from some other tree holes is that this one frequently contains a slug or two.


I've been monitoring this tree hole for about a year now. There is usually water in it. I think the presence of water is what attracts the slugs to it. The humidity inside the hole must be higher and more constant than it is outside the hole. The hole probably also provides some protection against the slugs' predators, if they have any.

The slugs are philomycid slugs (family Philomycidae) that are native to the eastern U.S. I still haven't figured out the exact species we have in the woods around here.


Tim Pearce said...

Can you tell if it is the same individual you keep seeing? It is not clear if you collect them and new ones keep appearing, or if you note them and leave them there.


No, I haven't taken any slugs from this hole & I haven't attempted to determine if the same slugs return to the same resting places. I would do it if there was an easy way to tag them.

Snail said...

Could you look at the mantle patterns? Or are they not as distinct as those of leopard slugs? I've trying to apply the technique to the Limacus flavus, but I think I've met my match!