The tolerance of the field slug Deroceras reticulatum to freezing temperatures

Cook, R T (2004) The tolerance of the field slug Deroceras reticulatum to freezing temperatures. CryoLetters, 25(3), pp. 187-194. ISSN (print) 0143-2044

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Cold hardiness of ectotherms has been widely studied in arthropods, but there is a more limited literature on the survival of molluscs at low temperatures. A number of intertidal species have been examined in detail, but terrestrial molluscs have largely been overlooked until recently. This paper reports results of laboratory experiments to evaluate the cold hardiness of the terrestrial slug, Deroceras reticulatum. The mean supercooling point (SCP) rose from -4.2 degree C in summer to -3.6 degree C in winter. The SCP that caused 50 percent mortality (LSCP50) remained constant at -4.7 to -4.8 degree C in both seasons, but slugs were able to survive the frozen state for longer in winter (LD50 of 31.8 minutes compared with 17.0 minutes in summer). Slug survival at freezing temperatures was prolonged to at least five hours when placed on a moist, absorbent substrate. D. reticulatum exhibits partial freeze tolerance, with an increased survival in winter. The results are discussed in relation to the natural environment of slugs.

Item Type: Article
Research Area: Allied health professions and studies
Faculty, School or Research Centre: Faculty of Science (until 2011) > School of Life Sciences
Depositing User: Susan Miles
Date Deposited: 23 Oct 2007
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2010 09:01

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