Journal archives for March 2020

March 12, 2020

Should Banana Slug Observations from CA Should be Obscured?

Since Banana Slugs in California can't be identified to the species level without dissection, they must be left at the genus level in iNaturalist.

iNat automatically obscures threatened species, but not genus-level observations. Thus, the locations of most Banana Slug observations are exposed for all to see.

I contacted Cedric Lee (@cedric_lee) for insight into this issue. Here is his reply:

"It's technically possible to obscure all observations at the genus level. However, in regards to adding conservation statuses to genus level and above, the rule is that we shouldn't 'add statuses for taxa that contain species that have no status because that will incorrectly obscure coordinates for observations of those species'. In regards to Ariolimax columbianus, the status is listed on NatureServe as 'secure' which equates to 'no status' on iNaturalist. Perhaps there are exceptions to the rule. The administrators would have better knowledge about that. Others and I have raised concerns about some 'loopholes' in which to find the coordinates of observations with conservation statuses, but fixing those 'loopholes' lie with the responsibility of the user since the administrators can't really do anything about it. "

Therefore, it is highly recommended that observers obscure their own observations of Banana Slugs in CA. I obscured my 104 observations of Banana Slugs on 12/29/2018.

Note: today, March 11, 2020, I've unobscured my 107 banana slug observations. The scientists want to them unobscured to facilitate studying them. See this discussion: https://www.inaturalist.org/flags/461110

Banana slug clades and proposed taxonomy. PEARSE, J.S.**; LEONARD, J.L.; BREUGELMANS, K.; BACKELJAU, T. http://www.sicb.org/meetings/2007/schedule/abstractdetails.php3?id=233

The genus Ariolimax is currently broken into 5 taxa in 2 subgenera based on penis morphology:

A. columbianus - ranges from central California to southeast Alaska (spotted?)
There are 2 clades within A. columbianus, for which we propose species rank:
A. columbianus - ranging from northwest California to southeast Alaska
A. buttoni - in north-central California

A. californicus - found mainly in San Mateo county
A. dolichophallus - found mainly in Santa Cruz county
A. brachyphallus has a disjunct distribution on the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula, the Monterey Peninsula in Monterey County, and Cambria in San Luis Obispo County.
See this discussion: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/43841441

A. stramineus - found on the coast of south-central California
A fourth distinct clade is an undescribed species on Mount Palomar, San Diego County, California.

References:

Roth & Sadeghian (2006) and Pearse & Leonard (2010).
https://compbio.soe.ucsc.edu/slugGenome/jointGenomicsClass-23Apr2010.pdf (p. 27 and 51) https://www.researchgate.net/publication/260106779_Checklist_of_the_Land_Snails_and_Slugs_of_California_Second_Edition
http://www.sicb.org/meetings/2007/schedule/abstractdetails.php3?id=233

Ranges:

Posted on March 12, 2020 05:18 AM by truthseqr truthseqr | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Thanks to the Newt Roadkill Survey Team (2019-2020 Migration Season)

As we head into the last month of the Pacific newt migration season, I'd like to send out our thanks and deepest gratitude to the Newt Roadkill Survey Team (@merav, @sea-kangaroo, @newtpatrol, @anudibranchmom, @joescience1) for their work at Lexington Reservoir during the 2019-2020 migration season.

The last month is possibly the most difficult. Volunteers are exhausted both mentally & physically from taking pictures of thousands upon thousands of dead creatures on the road. Just when they think the carnage might be over, it rains and more newts brave the road only to have the life snuffed out of them. It weighs you down. It's difficult and dangerous work. Not many people appreciate their efforts.

Team, please know that I and the mitigation team (UC Davis Road Ecology Center, CA Fish & Wildlife, USGS Ecology, Sierra Club, Audubon Society, Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District, Peninsula Open Space Trust and others) truly appreciate the work you've done.

So far, this study has documented 10,117 dead newts plus 180 roadkill observations of 33 other species over two and a half migration seasons.

Fraser Shilling, Ph.D., director of the UC Davis Road Ecology Center at UC Davis recently said, "I don't think there has been a study anywhere in the world that has found a higher density of amphibian mortality from traffic than this one."

You all have contributed to a landmark study. Thank you for your time and effort.

Posted on March 12, 2020 11:48 PM by truthseqr truthseqr | 7 comments | Leave a comment