Jul 18, 2009

Slug Love

From Wikipedia: Limax maximus (literally, "great slug"), also known by common names such as the great grey slug, or the leopard slug, is one of the largest kinds of keeled air-breathing land slug in the world, (Limax cinereoniger being the largest). It is in the family Limacidae, the keeled slugs.

I will photograph just about anything and this post definitely shows this truth. As an avid gardener, my brain says I should get rid of these foul beasts. The naturalist and photographer in me says otherwise. So here I am at a quarter until 1 in the morning photographing tiger slug courtship. Talk about a wild nightlife.






The Chase is On

The mating habits of Limax maximus are considered unusual among slugs: the hermaphrodite slugs court, usually for hours, by circling and licking each other. After this, the slugs will climb into a tree or other high area and then, entwined together, lower themselves on a thick string of mucus, evert their white translucent mating organs (penises) from their gonopores (openings on the right side of the head), entwine these organs, and exchange sperm. Both participants will later lay hundreds of eggs.



While I find the topic of slug mating quite interesting I am not staying up several hours just to photograph the actual deed. There are photos on the Wiki page though.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limax_maximus

For a lovely blog post extolling slug love, try this one:

http://keeperofthesnails.blogspot.com/2006/04/tiger-slug.html


~Jessica~

4 comments:

Autumn Belle said...

That is very interesting, Jessica. You are so brave as to photograph slugs! Looks very slimy.

Bangchik and Kakdah said...

Only when we go deeper and understand their way of life and their genetic program, we are able to see these slugs beyond the hatred and urge to get rid of them.

Things, alive or not exist for a reason.... How can we handle gardening in a more friendly manner, allowing slugs and other pest to coexist on a manageable food chain system.

There are so many things to know about these little creature, before we raise hands to go on culling!

I suppose we are meant to coexist in a tolerable habitat.

An interesting post!!
Cheers,
~ bangchik

Clare Dudman said...

Excellent Jessica! I once found a couple of slugs mating on our kitchen floor. It was mesmerising- and they moved quite fast (for slugs).

Thanks very much for linking to my blog. I shll now return the favour!

flandrumhill said...

What interesting creatures. And we think we're complex.

Don't know if you caught my post about eating slugs... just in case you ever thought you might dine on them at some point... Don't!!!