Hatching eggs of Arion hortensis

Hatching eggs of Arion hortensis

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Credit: DR JEREMY BURGESS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Eggs of the garden slug, Arion hortensis, photographed five weeks after they were laid, August ( Norfolk UK ).Slugs are members of the Pulmonata within the class Gastropoda; they breathe air through a rudimentary “lung” within the mantle. The eggs of A. hortensis are laid in batches of 20-50 in damp situations and take a few weeks to hatch at normal ambient temperatures in late summer. A. hortensis is a widespread pest of gardens, feeding on tender foliage. The picture shows part of a batch of eggs of A. hortensis that was laid in the soil within a flower pot. The eggs are 5mm in diameter. In the centre is a baby slug that has just emerged, head first, from its egg. It will take one year to attain its full adult size.

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Keywords: arion hortensis, garden pest, garden slug, gastropoda, hatching egg, pulmonata, slug eggs

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