[ExI] super soldier ants

Tomasz Rola rtomek at ceti.pl
Wed Jan 11 15:33:14 UTC 2012

On Tue, 10 Jan 2012, spike wrote:

> If anyone can figure out how to get an oilseed crop to prosper, it could be
> a minor contributor to the world's energy problem.  Oilseed is used to make
> a light oil which can be used for fuel and could have plenty of industrial
> uses in addition to being a food crop.

Okay, okay, I want to be minor contributor to that :-).

Actually, since I am way behind as usual, this might have been posted 
already by someone else. If not, here goes:


Frogs, toads, snakes, hedgehogs, Salamanders, eastern box turtles, rats, 
Caecilians and also some birds and beetles are slug predators.

Slugs, when attacked, can contract their body, making themselves harder 
and more compact, and combined with the slippery mucus is more difficult 
for many animals to grasp. The unpleasant taste of the mucus is also a 

Some slugs can self-amputate (autotomy) a portion of their tail to help 
the slug escape from a predator.[7]


Human relevance

The great majority of slug species are harmless to humans and to their 
interests, but a small number of species are serious pests of agriculture 
and horticulture. They can destroy foliage faster than plants can grow, 
thus killing even fairly large plants. They also feed on fruits and 
vegetables prior to harvest, making holes in the crop, which can make 
individual items unsuitable to sell for aesthetic reasons, and which can 
make the crop more vulnerable to rot and disease.

As control measures, baits are the norm in both agriculture and the 
garden. In recent years iron phosphate baits have emerged and are 
preferred over the toxic metaldehyde, especially because domestic or wild 
animals may be exposed to the bait. The environmentally safer iron 
phosphate has been shown to be at least as effective as poisonous 
baits.[8] Methiocarb baits are no longer widely used.

Other slug control methods are generally ineffective, but can be somewhat 
useful in small gardens. These include beer traps,[9] diatomaceous earth, 
crushed eggshells, coffee grounds, and copper.

It is of scientific interest that salt kills slugs by causing water to 
leave its body owing to osmosis [10] but this is not used for agricultural 
control as soil salinity is detrimental to crops."

(from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slug )

So, one of the most environmental friendly may be coffee grounds, perhaps 
from a nearby friendly caffeteria?

Also, I wonder if it would be possible to lay barbwire across the fields, 
so even if slugs eat one quadrant they will be stopped in it. But this is 
probably not very good idea on the money side.

Tomasz Rola

** A C programmer asked whether computer had Buddha's nature.      **
** As the answer, master did "rm -rif" on the programmer's home    **
** directory. And then the C programmer became enlightened...      **
**                                                                 **
** Tomasz Rola          mailto:tomasz_rola at bigfoot.com             **

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