Showing posts from April, 2009

Painting slugs from photos

Limacus flavus Barbara Nitz sent me excellent photos of Limacus flavus from Germany, so I began with this species. The slugs in her photos varied in colour from dark brown, through green, to orange. The only direct side view was taken of the most orange individual, so that is the one I used as reference. Luckily Barbara had also taken dorsal photos of this animal, so I didn't have to guess at the pattern. I learned how to most easily transfer the measurements and proportions of a slug in a photos to the page. My photos are on the computer, each view in a separate "viewer" window. First I decide how long the painted slug is to be, relative to other species I have painted. I measure the length on paper and then drag the corner of the viewer window until the size of the photo corresponds to the size that the illustration will be. As I proceed to draw, I measure each part of the slug in the photo. As with all the other species (below) that I have had to paint withou

Shipped live from Washington state

Arion species (unidentified) This slug is so long and extensible - elastic! When resting it has a usual Arion shape, and can hump itself up into a rectangular lump when disturbed (which Arion circumscriptus cannot do), but while crawling, it just stretches longer and longer! In order to show an average aspect, I don't paint my slugs fully extended, so this portrait does not show this beast at its extreme, which is at least another 5 mm. It is not particularly shy, willing to wake up and walk about when nudged gently, or when its substrate is tilted or rotated. It had two wounds made by the fast, agressive little Deroceras panormitanum - luckily on the left side, as my portrait is of the side with the pneumostome. When I first opened the lid upon receiving the parcel from Washington state, I noticed one of the Deroceras following a slowly crawling Arion , and biting its tail! I immediately found several plastic sandwich containers and began to isolate all of the Deroceras,