17 August 2008

Weekend's field trip: where did all the snails go?

Gina Meletakos and I went on a field trip in a wooded park this weekend. The weather was perfect–it had rained the night before, so everything was wet, and it drizzled lightly on and off while we were looking around–and there were many rotting trunks with loose litter around them–seemingly perfect spots for land snails. But, despite our 2 hours of scrutiny, we found only 5 species of gastropods. We did have a good time, though.

There were the usual Ventridens ligera and the carnivorous Haplotrema concavum. We put them near each other hoping that H. concavum (right) would make a meal out of V. ligera right there and then. But while the former was taking its time to emerge from its shell, Ventridens quickly left the spot.


Besides the introduced slug Arion subfuscus and the little native snail Zonitoides arboreus, we saw several of these juvenile native philomycid slugs, probably Philomycus carolinianus. This one was munching on a fungus growing on a dead tree.


Gina also caught this little froggie for a photo session. If I am not mistaken it was an eastern American toad (Bufo americanus americanus). Let Gina's fingers be the scale (and she's going to get warts now).



budak said...

some are hiding in houses.... http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/7572553.stm?lsm


Thanks for the link!