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 Is there a slugologist in the house?
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26006 Posts

Posted - 06/11/2009 :  21:05:34  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I don't know what to call slug experts.

But I've got a slug that I've seen five out of the last six nights. I know it's the same slug, because of the scar/hole it has on its right side, like I've never seen on any other slug. (Perhaps an attempted predation by bird or other sharp-mouthed animal?)

What interests me is not the scar, though, but the fact that this same slug has re-appeared for almost a week now on the same part of my fence. Only well after the Sun goes down. It appears to be eating the moss/algae that's turning the top of my old, wooden fence greenish.

But what it's eating isn't the interesting bit. It's that the slug has returned to that spot, night after night. It's on its third night in a row, tonight. I haven't seen it stray from a particular foot-long stretch of fence-top (except when it's not there at all), and I haven't actually seen it climbing the fence, either. (It's a six-foot fence, by the way.)

Slugs have memory? Or is it following the previous night's slime trail back to where it had good eats?

Either way, I always thought slugs were pretty damn dumb (they obviously don't know that if you drown in beer, it spoils it for everyone else), but this one displays behavior that at least makes it seem smarter than I'd ever given slugs credit for.

Perhaps tomorrow night, I'll go out earlier and try to spot it as it travels to my fence-top.

(Cue Ricky to come in and tell me I posted this same thing six years ago... back before I even owned a fence.)

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.

HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 06/12/2009 :  01:26:40   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm not a slugologist, but/so I'd recommend putting a tracking collar on the beast. Perhaps one of the smaller models.


Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 06/12/2009 :  03:21:25   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I am not exactly a gastropodiatrist (I made that word up, hehe) but I think that you are correct in that it is following it's own mucus trail back and forth, eating it as it goes. That is also the way it tracks down mates, an occupation that consumes a large portion of it's time.

Fred Phelps would love slugs. They are hermaphroditic and each has *ahem* a tallywhacker nearly half as long as the animal itself.

Interesting factoid: the common, grey garden slug is not a native species but an accidental import from Europe.

And now you know as much about them as I do.




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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BigPapaSmurf
SFN Die Hard

3192 Posts

Posted - 06/12/2009 :  05:20:10   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send BigPapaSmurf a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Perhaps it just follows a scent/chemical trail like ants do. Though it would seem easier to just follow the slime.

"...things I have neither seen nor experienced nor heard tell of from anybody else; things, what is more, that do not in fact exist and could not ever exist at all. So my readers must not believe a word I say." -Lucian on his book True History

"...They accept such things on faith alone, without any evidence. So if a fraudulent and cunning person who knows how to take advantage of a situation comes among them, he can make himself rich in a short time." -Lucian critical of early Christians c.166 AD From his book, De Morte Peregrini
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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 06/12/2009 :  05:42:26   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by BigPapaSmurf

Perhaps it just follows a scent/chemical trail like ants do. Though it would seem easier to just follow the slime.
In other words, pretty much like keeping track of Creationists.


Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 06/12/2009 :  07:44:43   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by BigPapaSmurf

Perhaps it just follows a scent/chemical trail like ants do. Though it would seem easier to just follow the slime.
It's the slime. They actually eat it; their own and any other slug's they might come across. And if they are so lucky as to come across another's and follow it to it's source, they will get laid. And gravid. Both of them.



Slug porn




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 06/12/2009 :  08:49:40   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Oh, and in case someone is wondering:

Prepare like the French Snails ( Ecargot), steam, then add garlic, oil and pepper.

I love escargo but I haven't tried this...... yet.




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26006 Posts

Posted - 06/12/2009 :  20:29:05   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Sluggo is back tonight. And because today was pretty dry, I set the hose on "mist" and softened up the fence-top for it. It seemed to get a little more lively.

And if you want to see what's going on in filthy's still photo, above, go visit YouTube (not safe for slug workplaces).

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13463 Posts

Posted - 06/13/2009 :  00:20:58   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Dave W.

Sluggo is back tonight. And because today was pretty dry, I set the hose on "mist" and softened up the fence-top for it. It seemed to get a little more lively.

And if you want to see what's going on in filthy's still photo, above, go visit YouTube (not safe for slug workplaces).

Wow!!! That's fantastic!

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 06/13/2009 :  03:44:02   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Great little clip. Thanks!

It looks like Dave has adopted a neat, new pet; one that won't bark all night nor chase cars, nor bring dead birds home, nor even barf up hair-balls like a common, disgusting cat. Excellent!

Also excellent is the amount of wildlife one can observe without leaving the back yard, if one is looking carefully.




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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Agita
Skeptic Friend

USA
58 Posts

Posted - 06/13/2009 :  17:09:50   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Agita a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by filthy

Great little clip. Thanks!

It looks like Dave has adopted a neat, new pet; one that won't bark all night nor chase cars, nor bring dead birds home, nor even barf up hair-balls like a common, disgusting cat. Excellent!

Also excellent is the amount of wildlife one can observe without leaving the back yard, if one is looking carefully.






Who needs a back yard? I have a microscope.



Mark Armitage. 2008. iUniverse, Inc., 49 pages

In the first half of this little book, the author draws several parallels between the operation of a scanning electron microscope (SEM) and the way Jesus the Creator relates to us in salvation. For example, just as He prepares us to be in his presence, a sample must be prepared before it is placed into an electron microscope. And, like the sample must be coated in gold or palladium, Jesus provides a covering for our sin. The second half of the book contains a series of SEM images of what the author calls “mystery substances.” Under the microscope they indeed look like mysterious substances, but they are common features of everyday life, such as the “hook” and “cloth” sides of a Velcro fastener.

http://creationresearch.org/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=BK-JES1&Category_Code=


I wonder what a picture of Jesus on an amoeba is fetching on E-Bay these days.

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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26006 Posts

Posted - 06/13/2009 :  21:26:18   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Sluggo is back again, tonight. We had a big storm go through just before dark, so everything is nice and soggy.

I saw a slug crawling up my drainpipe (towards the fence-top) just as the skies were opening up. Don't know whether it was Sluggo or not, as the rain drove me inside before I could get a closer look.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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Zebra
Skeptic Friend

USA
354 Posts

Posted - 06/13/2009 :  23:11:37   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Zebra a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Meanwhile, Sluggo is telling the other slugs about this human who comes out every evening and examines the same 6 ft tall fence, sometimes soaking it with his juices via a long green tube; Sluggo is pretty sure it's the same human every time because of what seem like distinguishing markings, though you know it can be hard to tell them apart....

I think, you know, freedom means freedom for everyone* -Dick Cheney

*some restrictions may apply
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Zebra
Skeptic Friend

USA
354 Posts

Posted - 06/13/2009 :  23:17:53   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Zebra a Private Message  Reply with Quote
But on a more serious note, this page at askabiologist.org.uk seems pertinent, esp. this comment from someone posting as Markus Eichhorn:
I've now consulted one of Britain's leading slug watchers, Chris du Feu, who sent the following fascinating information about these noble creatures:

From the description of the behaviour of the slug it seems likely to be a yellow slug (Limax flavus). This species feeds on fungus, lichen, mould, algae etc. and is often found in houses, typically in rooms where there is some dampness (such as under the sink in the kitchen). Although they are very widespread and very often found living in or around human habitations, they are grossly under-recorded. This may be because they are so highly nocturnal. It is rare to see one active at any time from just before first light until after dusk. They are reputed to have a strong homing instinct although this reputation seems to be anecdotal rather than well established. Slugs of this species have markings which are individually identifiable and this will allow you to check whether your slug is the same individual returning to its base or whether it is just a good place for slugs to be and when one slug leaves another takes its place. Take a digital photograph of the slug and evict it. The next night take another photograph and see if it is the same individual.

Once you have established whether it is the same individual, you might ask what mechanism it uses to find its way home. It could be the slime trail. By removing all traces of this trail you could see whether it reduces the slugs ability to find its return route. Alternatively you could take the slug a little further away each night to try and discover the distance from which it can find its path home. Because of the individual markings the possibilities for studying this species are very great indeed.

Incidentally, this species of slug is far from being a pest. It avoids green plants in favour of other matter. I have read of an Australian who has a jar in his shower room where some of these slugs live. At might they emerge to remove all the mould that grows on the grouting between the tiles. They return to the jar before first light leaving the grout clear of mould and glistening with the dried slime trail. A labour saving, environmentally cheap solution to the tile cleaning problem.
What a great idea - I think I'll start keeping slugs in a jar in my shower!


I think, you know, freedom means freedom for everyone* -Dick Cheney

*some restrictions may apply
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26006 Posts

Posted - 06/13/2009 :  23:21:02   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Zebra

Meanwhile, Sluggo is telling the other slugs about this human who comes out every evening and examines the same 6 ft tall fence, sometimes soaking it with his juices via a long green tube; Sluggo is pretty sure it's the same human every time because of what seem like distinguishing markings, though you know it can be hard to tell them apart....
Shades of Douglas Adams, with his white mice performing experiments on humans.

Sluggo, tonight, went all the way down to the end of the fence (perhaps five feet from where I've seen it hang out), climbed an inch to the top of the 4x4 fence post, grazed there for an hour or so, then pulled a U-turn and started back.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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H. Humbert
SFN Die Hard

USA
4574 Posts

Posted - 06/13/2009 :  23:24:17   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send H. Humbert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Zebra
What a great idea - I think I'll start keeping slugs in a jar in my shower!
Yeah, I wonder if you ask the average person on the street if they'd rather have their shower tiles covered in mold or "glistening slime" what their answer would be. I think this is one of those case where the solution is worse than the original problem.


"A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true." --Demosthenes

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool." --Richard P. Feynman

"Face facts with dignity." --found inside a fortune cookie
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