28 December 2008

News from the slugarium

Today's rainy and unseasonably warm* weather brought the native slugs in the nearby woods out of their winter hiding places. After scanning several beech trunks, I saw 2 Megapallifera mutabilis on their way down from the tree tops. Here is one of them.

MegapalliferaMutabilis3

I brought both slugs home and placed them into a makeshift slugarium, a large glass container containing dead tree leaves and several pieces of beech bark. A glass plate (from a picture frame) is serving as the lid. I will be putting a small vial of water inside the container to keep the humidity high, otherwise the slugs will die.

slugarium

This is going to be the slugs' home for several weeks during which they will be observed, photographed, examined, maybe poked occasionally and probably subjected to some mild experiments, all in the name of science, of course. As I mentioned in this post, Megan and I collecting data for a presentation at next summer's AMS meeting in Ithaca, New York. These slugs will have the honor of being part of our project. I don't intend to kill them and will return them to where they came from eventually.

I will continue to write about them as things start to happen.

Here is the same slug photographed above now resting on a beech bark inside the slugarium.

MegapalliferaMutabilis4

*Early in the afternoon the temperature was around 20 °C (68 °F).

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Will you name them?? :)

~Susan

AYDIN ÖRSTAN said...

They already have names: 281208-1 & 281208-2! They don't come when I call them, though.

Coyote said...

Will they get enough oxygen with that glass plate covering the top of their container? How will you keep too much carbon dioxide from collecting in the tank?

AYDIN ÖRSTAN said...

That's a good point, but the plate is not air tight.