25 February 2009

Definitely a crazy slug


I photographed this Deroceras reticulatum last Friday night at 7:30 in my backyard under a rock. An hour and a half later, the slug was still there even though the temperature had gone down to -2.6 °C. How do they do it? I don't know. But they must be able to supercool their body fluids to avoid freezing.

The little yellow balls visible at the top are the slug eggs mentioned in this post (the millipede next to them was dead). Next weekend I may bring the eggs inside to see if the embryos have survived the sub-freezing temperatures we have had since I first saw them.


BG said...

Not knowing the daytime temperatures or solar exposure to the spot, is there any chance the thermal mass of the rock keeps the temperature above the ambient air temperature?


Good point. I sometimes measure the temperature first by sliding the probe under the rock before turning it over. That particular rock was, however, in the shade during the day. Moreover, later at 9 pm when temperature was -2.6 °C, ice crystals had started to form under the rock, but the slug was still there.

caglaror said...