Friday, August 12, 2011

Something Has Been Munching On My Mushrooms

There are these mushrooms growing in my backyard...
 I noticed something was eating them.  In the photo below, you can see the feeding sign on the lower part of the mushroom's stalk.
Who did it?
I had a strong hunch I would have to catch the culprit in the middle of the night.  That is why I was out at midnight the other night when I saw the crane fly I posted about yesterday.
Sure enough, I caught the midnight mushroom muncher in the act!
Slug Feeding On Mushroom
Those optical tentacles caught in the glare of the flashlight beam give the slug a "deer in the headlights look".  

Here is a photo of another slug feeding on a fallen mushroom.
Now I know I used the word "munching" when I should really have used "rasping" because a slug feeds by rasping with its radula.  Here is a radula diagram from wikipedia that nicely illustrates the radula in action.
Source Wikipedia 

You could say my slugs were feeding on fungus filings. 
Are radulae busy rasping in your back yard?

Homeschoolers, you could take your classroom to your backyard and learn alot from slimy slug "munching" on a mushroom.

You might also like my post about radula marks in algae.

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