Observation of the Week, 8/14/17


Our Observation of the Week is this Carpathian Blue Slug, seen in the Ukraine by @cloudya!

Originally from Berlin but in America after studying Forest Ecology at Humboldt State University amongst California’s giant Coast Redwoods, Claudia Voigt dug up photos from a survey in Ukraine to show her friends that there’s an “even more magical slug” than North America’s famed Banana slugs.

Three years ago, when she was studying at the University of Sustainable Development in Eberswalde, Germany, “travelled to the Carpathian Biosphere Reserve in Ukraine. The reserve holds one of the only remaining virgin old-growth forests in Europe. We did a rapid biodiversity assessment and studied the impacts to the reserve by the emerging tourism industry but also by changes in traditional land uses. The Carpathian blue slug was one of the amazing endemic creatures of the old-growth beech forest.”

As its common name suggests, the Carpathian blue slug is endemic to the Carpathian Mountain range of Eastern Europe, and is blue in color. The blue ranges from a turquoise to dark blue and even black, and the slug can be found under logs or in the leaf litter in damp conditions. It’s also a large species, with adults growing up to 14 cm in length!

Claudia, who now does forestry work for California State Parks (and is at Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park in the above photo), says “I always thought of myself more as a naturalist than a forest ecologist or botanist.” Of iNaturalist, she says “[I] am glad that iNaturalist shares observations with other databases. I want researchers to better understand the distributions and ranges of the organisms they study and find the quality control by curators is very important to make iNaturalist a truly valuable tool.”

- by Tony Iwane


- Here’s a Carpathian blue slug in (slow) action: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WhgDkkVDwaY

Posted by tiwane tiwane, August 14, 2017 21:25

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