This time, we’re looking at organisms other than insects, there are plenty of other invertebrates to enjoy.
Most people I’ve talked to don’t like slugs and snails – maybe it’s because I don’t have a garden and they’re not eating my plants – but I find their little faces ever so charming. There are also . And did you know, some slugs even have a ? There are plenty of snails to be found in ponds in gardens or public areas.
It seems this post is full of the less popular animals. I know not everyone likes spiders, but there are a huge variety of them. If you can bear it, their features are fascinating under magnifiers or macro lenses. Wolf spiders (Lycosidae) can be seen prowling across grass or sunbathing on walls. They are the gardener’s friend, as they help control pest numbers. Females are often seen carrying their egg sacs around with them. Woodlouse spiders (Dysdera crocata) are another distinctive spider, brightly coloured and with a powerful bite for taking on their woodlouse prey. A minibeast that may appear like a spider but actually isn’t, is the harvestman. They are arachnids but lack the segmented body of a spider.
Another familiar invertebrate are worms. They are popular as food for many animals such as blackbirds, moles and foxes but they also have an important role while they are alive. . They clear away fallen leaves by dragging them into the ground and perform many useful roles that keep soil healthy and enable plants to grow. They’re also easier to photograph as they’re slow-moving and you can really see the slimy, segmented details.
Hopefully pausing to consider these other creatures will allow greater appreciation. Perhaps a closer look will confirm why you don’t like them, but if you can overcome the repulsion you may see something you didn’t know about before.
The Woodland Trust produce handy swatches:
Some useful guides to slugs and snails:
Nature Spot Slugs & Snails
Countryfile How to identify common species and protect your plants
Read other posts in the Nature at Home series
Kerrie Curzon, Collections Assistant