12 November 2007

Yesterday morning in the woods

In the morning the air was cool but comfortable, the sun was shining and at that hour the park was mostly devoid of people. A cluster of rotting trunks on a hilltop turned out to be a good spot for all sorts of animals hiding under the wet leaf litter. First there was the snail Haplotrema concavum, a carnivorous denizen of these parts. Apparently disturbed from the unexpected removal of its roof of leaves, it refused to come out of its shell.


While waiting for Haplotrema to show more of its body, I did more poking around the trunks. The next molluscoid find was a cluster of eggs hidden likewise under the fallen leaves. They most likely belonged to a slug.


Then I saw this bright red centipede of some sort. It was quite small actually, probably about 2 cm or so. Once it realized that it was being photographed, it quickly slid under a leaf fragment and disappeared.


This small eastern red-backed salamander (Plethodon cinereus) was also hiding under the leaves. These salamanders never run away when exposed or picked up in one's hand; they walk ever so slowly, taking every step deliberately and yet disappear the same. They were on this blog before.


The parade ended with another gastropod, a tiny slug. Here it is on the tip of my finger. What species could it be? Kerney & Cameron* describe the European Arion intermedius as follows: [It has] a characteristically prickly appearance when contracted due to soft spikes on tubercles. This is indeed A. intermedius, a naturalized alien in North America. Kinda cute, isn't it?


Haplotrema concavum, on the other hand, never fully came out of its shell. I covered with leaves and left.

*Kerney & Cameron, 1979. A Field Guide to the Land Snails of Britain and North-west Europe.


pascal said...

that is a cute li'l sluggy

Choy Jian Ning said...

the salamander is so cute! i wish i could touch it!