Slug expert Ulrich Schneppat visits QUBS

On Thursday September 25 slug expert Ulrich Schneppat visited QUBS to help document our terrestrial gastropods and search for the charismatic

Adam Zieleman (left), Ulrich Schneppat (centre) and Vanya Rohwer (right) looking for slugs on the Bonwill Tract. Photo: Mark Andrew Conboy.
Adam Zieleman (left), Ulrich Schneppat (centre) and Vanya Rohwer (right) looking for slugs on the Bonwill Tract. Photo: Mark Andrew Conboy.

introduced Giant Garden Slug (Limax maximus). This is apparently the first survey of slugs ever done at QUBS.

Despite rather dry weather we did manage to find and collect 11 specimens from two genera. We began our search before dark by flipping logs which produced all sorts of other invertebrates but only a single Arion slug. After sunset things changed and we found numerous large specimens of both Arion and Philomycus. We did not find any Limax maximus but slime trails high up some tree trunks made Ulrich suspicious that L. maximus or another introduced species from the family Limacidae may be present at QUBS.

Identifying Arion and Philomycus slugs beyond genus requires dissection. Ulrich and the staff of the Bishops Mills Natural History Centre will diagnose our specimens and report the species to us at a later date.

The genus Philomycus is endemic North America. We found most of our Philomycus specimens on fallen Ironwoods (Ostrya virginiana) with very loose bark which provides shelter during the day when slugs are at risk of desiccating. This slug is sharing a meal of young Phellinus fungus with julid millipede. Photo: Mark Andrew Conboy.
The genus Philomycus is endemic North America. We found most of our Philomycus specimens on fallen Ironwoods (Ostrya virginiana) with very loose bark which provides shelter during the day when slugs are at risk of desiccating. This slug is sharing a meal of young Phellinus fungus with julid millipede. Photo: Mark Andrew Conboy.
Arion sp. are among the most commonly encountered slugs at QUBS but are not native; all are introduced from Europe. They can be found on almost any substrate close to the ground or under moist logs. Photo: M.A. Conboy.
Arion sp. are among the most commonly encountered slugs at QUBS but are not native; all are introduced from Europe. They can be found on almost any substrate close to the ground or under moist logs. Photo: M.A. Conboy.

Mark Andrew Conboy

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