06 February 2008

Slugs in February

Yesterday and today have been unseasonably warm. This afternoon around 2 o'clock, the temperature at the Baltimore-Washington International Airport was reported as 22 °C (72 °F). Starting tonite, it is supposed to cool off again.

Last nite around 7:45, the temperature in my backyard was 10 °C and the ground was wet from an earlier rain. Perhaps not too surprisingly, slugs were out on the rocks. There were several Deroceras reticulatum. It looked like this one was helping itself some dead leaves.

DerocerasFebruary

Isopods were out on the rocks too. But as soon as the light from my flashlight fell on them, they would scamper away into dark corners. One of them, however, crossed paths with a Deroceras and instead of getting out of the way, it just stood there allowing the slug to crawl over it. Perhaps a little bit of slug slime was just what it needed.

SlugIsopod

Then there was this large dark brown slug, probably an Arion subfuscus, on the ground. Limax maximus, which are quite common on summer evenings, were conspicuously absent. Perhaps they remain dormant throughout the winter regardless of the weather. I will go out again tonite to check things out before the winter returns tomorrow.

ArionFebruary

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