Very little research has been published on the life cycle, ecology, behavior and the general biology of the native slugs (family Philomycidae) of northeastern North America. Megan Paustian and I started doing some work on the water loss and regain characteristics of one species, Megapallifera mutabilis, early in the spring of this year (see this post).
At about the same time, I decided to understand their annual generation cycle better, especially to figure out if adults survive the winter. It's a simple project, really. For 2 years, I will measure the body dimensions and/or weights of live slugs throughout the year. That's about it. The collective data will show how the members of the population change during the year. The important thing is to take as many measurements as possible on relatively warm days in December and also towards the end of March as soon as the weather starts to warm up. If there are large slugs in December and in March that will mean that the adults survive the winter.
The photograph shows 2 of the slugs getting weighed in the field about a week ago. They were adults and quite heavy, as far as this species goes.