Sunday, October 12, 2014

Different strokes

This was disappointing. I've seen videos and read descriptions of mating slugs, stories of couples dangling on a rope of their own slime, twisting and intertwining in a slow aerial dance.

So when I came across two slugs in the shade of a flowerpot, obviously mating, I expected something of the same sort.

No. And who am I to decree what counts as fun for someone else, slug or whatever?

They maintained this position, almost without moving, for 20 minutes.

I moved the pot away, to get better light, and kept an eye on them. For all of those 20 minutes, they lay quietly. The only motion was a mite that kept running around at high speed, over one, then the other, then back again. The only other change that I could see was the slow drying of the cement they lay on. I thought that would be uncomfortable, since they had chosen a dark, wet spot, so I brought some water to moisten the cement, and spilled a bit too much. Then there was a response:
Shrinking slugs

The large slug contracted and curled up, and then the lump of connected tissue separated into two translucent balls, still touching. They lay like this for another 10 minutes before they finally retracted their innards and separated.

I'm sure they enjoyed it, anyhow.


  1. Nice! Limax maximus is the most acrobatic one. The others usually keep their feet on the ground.

    Your mite is probably Riccardoella, IIRC.

  2. I tried for a photo of the mite, but it was too fast for my trigger finger.

    We do have the big L. maximus around here, but as far as I know, not in my garden.


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