|Copyright: Steve Reekie (LordPotty)
|Date Taken: 2007-09-21|
|Camera: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8|
|Exposure: f/5.0, 1/80 seconds|
|More Photo Info: [view]|
|Photo Version: Original Version|
|Date Submitted: 2008-06-07 1:57|
|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|Tiger slug (Limax maximus)|
The largest slug introduced to New Zealand from Europe. Tiger slugs eat plant matter, but also prey on other slugs.
Terrestrial slugs and snails are common inhabitants of New Zealand forests, grasslands, and shrublands. They can be found in the forest leaf litter, under the loose bark of rotting logs, under moss, in humus at the bases of trees, and in many similar damp, protected habitats. Introduced species are more common in and around human settlements, in farmlands, parks and gardens, where they hide under stones, tiles, old boards, and piles of debris. At night, when slugs and snails are active, many can be observed in the open - on the surfaces of tree trunks and dead logs, on the leaves and branches of plants, even on urban sidewalks and the walls of houses. Small land snails can be collected and preserved dry, but their identification is difficult. Slugs can be preserved and stored in 75% alcohol, but they contract their bodies and loose all shape and colour, so collecting them is unfulfilling. Giant snails, kauri snails, and flax snails are protected by New Zealand law and no collection of live snails or dead shells is permitted.
Nearly 35 000 species of terrestrial slugs and snails are described worldwide. They can be found from near-polar regions to the equator. The New Zealand fauna of terrestrial slugs and snails is particularly rich - in fact, New Zealand forests host the richest land snail communities found anywhere in the world (most of these snails are minute). Nearly all of New Zealand's 1400+ species of land slugs and snails are endemic, while many families have Gondwanan connections. New Zealand terrestrial gastropods, particularly the minute land snails, remain poorly studied. Little information is available on their diversity, ecology, distribution, or conservation value. Hundreds of species are still undescribed.
Similar to most other invertebrates, terrestrial slugs and snails are easily spread with plants, soil, fruits, garden materials, etc., along human trade routes. Many European and North American species have established successfully outside of their original range. Currently, there are 30 species of introduced slugs and snails in the New Zealand fauna, most of them associated with human-modified habitats and crops. The commonly encountered exotic species are the grey field slug Deroceras reticulatum, the yellow cellar slug Lumacus flavus, and the garden snail, Cantareus aspersus (formerly Helix aspersa). Introduced herbivorous slugs and snails can be a severe problem in pastures, gardens, and croplands, damaging and killing plants and their seedlings.
Hope you like my slimy friend,his slime mold environment and his termite riders.
Thanks for looking.
gannu, matatur has marked this note useful
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