Apr 15, 2015

Slugs Occupy Vermicomposting Farm. Good, Bad, Ugly? Depends.

In seeing the slugs in the worm boxes at American University in Beirut,  I thought I would investigate whether they are carnivorous. Some are. Its good to familiarize ourselves with co-occupants in the worm ecology. I wonder if they eat the worm eggs.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/54/Limax_maximus_variability.jpg
Testacella haliotidea Draparnaud

A Leopard Slug is omnivorous, eating other small slugs. But mostly eats fungus and OM.
Leopard slugs are know vectors of meningitis (just don’t eat them raw).    This photo is from the AUB worm farm.
Probably not an issue and not a plant eater.






Worm-Eating Slugs Family Testacellidae

Fauna of Soil Ecology
This carnivorous semi-slug  spends most of its time underground, where it   hunts and consumes earthworms, snails and slugs . The shelled  slug  is commonly   found in disturbed habitats like gardens, parks and agricultural fields.   This slug  is able to burrow to depths of up to one meter during periods of   aestivation. This animal has not been reported to feed on plant material and as such should not pose a threat to agricultural produce.  The ecological impact that this species may have on other terrestrial   mollusc  species has not been documented.



http://idtools.org/id/mollusc/factsheet.php?name=Testacella%20haliotidea

http://tcpermaculture.com/site/2013/05/24/predatory-gastropods-aka-carnivorous-snails-and-slugs/

Worm-Eating Slugs (Testacella species, Family Testacellidae): Found in Europe, Africa,  Britain, and Islands in the North Atlantic. These slugs with a shell (yeah, they are still called slugs, not snails) primarily eat earthworms and live most their lives underground. There are some reports of these slugs eating insect larvae as well.
Ghost Slug (Selenochlamys ysbryda, Family Trigonochlamydidae): Found in the UK and Europe down to Turkey. Also a earthworm eater.

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Permaculture and Polyculture Consulting and Design

Permaculture and Polyculture Consulting and Design
Getting to know your property, the plants you have and those you can grow, is a fulfilling endeavor. With most I am the steward of the land. I give them good soil biology and they do the rest. If I group them in cohesive plant communities, they respond with greater yields. If I encourage the micro-organisms (Fungus and bacteria) , the roots obsorb more nutrients making a pest and disease resistant plant. A stronger plant that gives us more organic food and takes less energy.

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Self Renewing Fertility, Soil Building, Water Catchment, Tea Trail Swale, Erosion Control and Native American Medicinals