Thursday, 29 March 2007

Slugs in my garden III

The slugs have never had it so good. Nights are mild, the ground is wet and there's more nosh for them than they can poke their radulae at.

Last night, I found a third limacid in the garden—a species of Lehmannia. I'm not sure whether it is L. nyctelia or L. valentiana. They're difficult to distinguish without dissection and I'm not going to kill the first one I've seen here. (It might be different if I find half a dozen or so.) For the moment, it's just Lehmannia sp. I'm happy with that.

The racing stripes separate it from the olive and yellow Limacus flavus and the handsome black and silver Limax maximus. They're not very well-developed on this individual but those more strongly marked have three stripes—two lateral bands and a median one.

Both of our introduced Lehmannia species are world travellers. Lehmannia nyctelia is native to eastern Europe but has been spread, presumably inadvertently, to Australia, New Zealand, Africa, North America and much of Europe (although it is mainly found in greenhouses in cooler locations). Lehmannia valentiana, which originated in the Iberian Peninsula, has an even wider range, including parts of South America.

1 comment:


Lehmannia valentiana has entered the U.S. I haven't seen it around here, though.