About an inch long. On a broken flowerpot.
The winter's crop of algae. And a brown springtail.
My early perennials are sprouting. I was examining them when I noticed this pattern on a broken flowerpot, kept over the winter for drainage material at the spring planting.
I brought the pot inside and inspected it. It harboured a pack of brown springtails, a few mini-millipedes, a couple of pillbugs, and this slug.
See the path of scrapings below it? The slug travels over the surface of the pot, scraping at the algae growing there, leaving cleaned marks where its mouth reached. Here, it's made a meandering path, swinging back and forth. In other spots, it nibbled here and there, making a spottier pattern.
It's a pity it will soon abandon the algae and go for my hostas, bringing all its relatives. But I'll be there first, with a ring of crumbled eggshells to scratch their bellies and discourage them. There is plenty of good food on the lawn; they are welcome to it.
One of the two pillbugs panicked at my flash; he ran hither and thither, tripping over his own feet as often as not. He spent a good part of the time upside down, legs flailing wildly in his effort to flip back upright. Very entertaining, for me, at least.
Calm down little one; I won't hurt you.
*On Snail's Tales, Aydin investigated the contents of an algae-eating slug's stomach. And without hurting the slug. And nor did I; I put the pot back outside in the rain, critters and all.