Weekend of 27/28 and I was supposed to be digging the tatty bed. We have weed suppressant on the bed, bits of old carpet and cardboard and at this time of year that's always quite exciting to be moving (if you're interested in invertebrates it is anyway). Cameras at the ready I pull some carpet up and then quickly look on the back of it and on the soil underneath. A nice Pterostichus melanarius, some Collembola and a lot of slugs. The slugs looked unfamiliar so I went inside to get the slug book, there's a very good Field Studies Council key. First up were these Tandonia budapestensis.
I don't recall identifying these before so I was quite chuffed. Whilst photographing these I noticed a strange, small, white slug amongst them, a worm-like thing. I had an inkling what that might be and quickly focussed in on the beast. I remembered reading on the Pan-listing FB group someone being very pleased to find one of these as they tend to spend most of their lives buried in the soil.
|Boettgerilla pallens, the Worm Slug.
An added bonus is that I believe there are very few records of this species for Orkney.
Further delving around found Deroceras invadens, Deroceras reticulatum, two common species and this Arion, which turned out to be Arion flagellus (Green-soled Slug, or even Spanish Stealth Slug, an alternative colloquial name). This was a small immature.
|The slugger in action, thanks to Louise for the photo.
Feeling a bit more confident about having a go at these now I added a further species later in the week when working with pupils, managing to identify this Arion distinctus.