Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Taters for Breakfast


Recently I had observed that “something” was actually eating the air potato. At first I thought it was a caterpillar of some sort but, I should have known better by the pattern of munching on the leaf surfaces. Yesterday, while in the midst of my glee (spraying air potato with herbicide); I noticed what finds our invasive pest a tasty snack. Slugs!!!!


From little itty bitty guys to this considerable slimy monster, they were everywhere I looked. I don’t know much about slugs (identification requires that you take a closer look at their underside) and these guys could even be non native but, I have a soft spot for most things that move. So, a little of my joy in the herbiciding process was sapped when it was obvious that slugs aren’t all that found of glyphosate (Roundup). There is a pretty cool page on slug id from the University of Florida. Apparently Florida is pretty depauparete in slug fauna (only three native species) and we are in a constant battle to prevent new species from being introduced and threatening our agricultural industry.

A face only a mother could love…look at those cute little retracted antennae…the top two are for the eyes and the bottom serve as the nose…looks like the radula (scraping teeth in mouth) is hidden or retracted…the ribbed tissue in the middle is the foot and the fleshy surround is known as the mantle.


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