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Activity and ecological distribution of the slug, Arion subfuscus Draparnaud Stylommatophora, Arionidae

Activity and ecological distribution of the slug, Arion subfuscus Draparnaud Stylommatophora, Arionidae

American Midland Naturalist 1002: 359-367

Populations of the slug A. subfuscus were studied in a goldenrod-aster field and in wooded areas in central New York State USA . Absolute density was estimated by counting the slugs extracted with water from soil samples and relative densities by counting the slugs attracted to metaldehyde bait or to wooden boards. Daily and seasonal activity patterns were dependent on temperature and moisture conditions. The annual life cycle was flexible and was dependent on the habitat; in the field slugs died by July, but in woods adjacent to the field, where the canopy moderated weather conditions, slugs survived beyond July. Slugs ate a wide variety of foods but fungi and decaying vegetation were most frequently eaten. Slug abundance was statistically correlated with the relative abundance of timothy grass and it was suggested that timothy was favorable to slugs because of the shelter it provided. A. subfuscus was not associated with any particular tree species but was found beneath all of the species examined, of both deciduous and coniferous trees. Although A. subfuscus is limited physiologically by extremes of temperature and moisture, its ecological requirements are flexible, enabling it to be a generalist species.

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Accession: 037756306

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DOI: 10.2307/2424835

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