Evergreen Magazine

Congratulations… It’s a Slug!

A newly discovered slug species has been named after one of Evergreen’s first faculty members, educator-naturalist Steve Herman.

slug

Thanks to two of his former students, Herman's name will now be forever attached to a diminutive terrestrial gastropod, Securicauda hermani, found inching its way through moist leaf litter in the Idaho Panhandle National Forest. Bill Leonard ’87 and Casey Richart ’00 unearthed the blue-flecked slug, measuring less than a half-inch stretched out, in October 2009, christening it with the common name Rocky Mountain Axetail. According to the article heralding the discovery, published in the animal taxonomy journal Zootaxa, the species was named "in honor of Steven G. Herman, Ph.D. A professor at The Evergreen State College since 1971, Dr. Herman has influenced hundreds of students and naturalists for decades in the Pacific Northwest." The axetail’s genus, Securicauda (derived from the Latin words securis, meaning axe, and cauda, meaning tail), is also entirely new to science. Having a species named after you, says Herman, "is among the highest honors a biologist can enjoy." No matter how slimy it is.


Securicauda hermani

 

Rocky Mountain Axetail / Securicauda hermani