Sunday, June 28, 2009

Slugs!

This lovely creature is a Leopard Slug (gastropod mollusc). A super slimy hermaphrodite, which has such sticky slime it can cause your fingers to stick together. The Little Ladies don't seem to mind the slime at all. I have to admit, I didn't hold the slug....someone had to take the pictures and I couldn't have slime on my camera now could I?! ;)


This not so shy slug is longer than Fauna's hand! They can grow in length to 8 inches.


You cannot find them where we live because they are city dwellers; our place is too country for them. My sister toted them over from her workplace to visit the Little Ladies. As you can see, the ladies loved them!




Diagram from Wikipedia

If you look closely, you can see the pneumostome, the hole which the slug breathes; it's right there by the tip of Fauna's pinky.


We love watching the four tentacles. It has 2 for sensing light (the upper ones) and 2 for smelling and feeling. If a slug should lose a tentacle, it will grow back.


Fauna has been fascinated with slugs all spring. She even has an "under the mat habitat" which she keeps perfectly damp for her little slug friends to live under. It's a welcome mat put in our garden under a tree, she waters the mat daily and has quite a colony of slugs, worms and other little critters under there. The moist mat works better than bricks or stones because it stays wet longer.


This pretty little amber slug is the type we usually find in our yard. It is quite a bit smaller than the Leopard, so you can imagine the amazement the ladies felt when they saw the Leopard Slugs.


Mister and Lady Lous would LOVE to have a scumptious Leopard Slug for dinner, but the girls aren't willing to share the slugs!


***Comment from blogger friend Chris, Wife Soup,

".....you can apparently keep them away from basil and your other veggies by using strips of copper around the edges of pots and raised beds. They make a 2" wide copper tape just for this purpose. Perhaps this is a method to keep slug lovers happy and the garden intact." Thanks for the suggestion Chris. Fauna is very against killing the "pests" of the garden and she gets upset if I post ways of killing......The Japanese Beetle post made her furious!

28 comments:

Fairly Odd Mother said...

I've been in a battle with the slugs who are eating my basil but I have to admit that the huge slug is pretty cool looking. The little guys though? They kind of give me the creeps. However, I can't kill them---someone told me to put salt on them and it seems so mean to do! I just want them to leave my basil alone!

Melissa Ellen said...

These big juicy guys use to visit our laundry every night at our previous home, I have no idea how they got in, but i think they liked the cats food!

Crescent Moon said...

I'm afraid I do not share your love for those big slugs. When I lived in Columbia, Missouri, we had them in the house. They would leave slime trails on the carpet and once even got into the refrigerator. They were outside as well and you had to be careful, particularly at night, about where you stepped, but I don't think I would have minded them so much if they had just stayed outside.

Annie said...

...runs screeching, almost in can can style from the room...

Okay, I'm back! It's all fine and dandy to look at slugs but to hold them like that.... I'm still reeling from hearing a friend say she licked the darn things when she was little to make her tongue numb.

gardenmama said...

The leopard slug is incredible!! We have been very focused on giant moths at the moment, but I think adding a slug welcome mat to the garden sounds like fun!

Tan Family said...

I've never seen slugs like these...wow! How neat that your girls enjoyed them and learned from them, rather than seeing the slugs as pests. :)

kyndale said...

Those are quite possibly the coolest slugs in the world! How great your sister brought them to your girls to explore. I love it! Lots of smiles, Kyndale

nettlejuice said...

Can Fauna please come over and lure all the slugs out of my garden?

Actually, now that it's not raining every day they are not so bad (i.e. they are not eating EVERYTHING). We live in a flood plain though, so slugs have a lovely moist and misty environment.

We do intend to create a frog pond behind the garden, though. Sorry sluggies.

Joy said...

You've got some brave little ladies because...um, ewww. I think I might prefer to admire from a distance.

renee @ FIMBY said...

I can't imagine slugs that big. To be honest, that would just gross me out. I can handle the little ones my kids find, study and take care of. My son wrote a little "what I know about slugs" post a while back.

http://fimby.tougas.net/homeschool-slug-study

debbie said...

I didn't know we had them that big in Ohio!!! We lived in the NW for a long time, and loved the variety and size out there - I think the Leopard Slugs are so pretty! For a while the little guys have been riding into the house on our wet shoes...the cat does not know what to make of them. Are you keeping them for a while? How?

Tara said...

The leapord slug is one ginormous beast!

Owen is so jealous.... he is a slug lover extraordinaire.

jane said...

ok i´m trying to get the slug images out of my head ha! ha! have a great week!

affectioknit said...

Amazing...

A Magical Childhood said...

My kids would love them too! Me... not so much!

We don't seem to get any slugs at all up here in Minnesota, or else they just avoid us. I'm sure my hostas appreciate that, as I've heard slugs are crazy about hostas.

I've heard the way to eradicate them (for the gardeners who are menaced) is to put out shallow dishes of beer. I swear. :)
~Alicia

Lisa said...

Alicia, Fauna was appalled by a slug trap she saw in a gardening store the other day. She would have been very upset with me if I would have posted a tip to eradicate them. Ha, hopefully she won't read your comment. LOL!

Lisa :)

kyndale said...

did you get the slug diagram from Exploring Nature?

Lisa said...

Kyndale, no I got it from Wikipedia.

Chris The Gardener said...

Your daughters are welcome to the multitude of slugs in my yard. While my methods of dealing with the slimy critters is more harsh than your girls would approve of, you can apparently keep them away from basil and your other veggies by using strips of copper around the edges of pots and raised beds. They make a 2" wide copper tape just for this purpose. Perhaps this is a method to keep slug lovers happy and the garden intact.

halfpastafreckle said...

You better not feed my little slug to your silly turtle!!!

Kate said...

My boys are oozing with jealousy at those fabulous slugs. We can drum up leeches around here, but slugs are slightly harder to come by!

Holly said...

Wow-that is a huge slug. My 4 yr old dd is into slugs & snails & every crawling thing outside. LOL Holly

Toni said...

we have those slugs all over the place and we are in the rural area, our duckling loves to eat them you should see her try to swallow a big one it takes some work:-)

Salt will take the slim right off of htose cute little hands,btw. We use a lot of it here, my kids are pick anythign up they see kinds of kids. They wouldlove to hang out wiht your daughters.

Kelly said...

Hi Lisa, What a beautiful slug! Love Fauna's under the mat habitat. On our recent seashore holiday, our Leo adored the sea slugs. There were hundreds of them. We frequently have slugs in our home here too!

Starry Nites said...

Wow--are those invasive species? I've never seen slugs that big in our part of the country. I used to live in N. California and we had awesome banana slugs, and now that we are in Germany for the summer, we see huge numbers of impressive slugs on our nature hikes each evening. I'll have to let my daughters see your blog so that they will feel less icky about the slugs!

Leanne said...

Oh my it's huge!! I'm feeling a little icky...brave Fauna!! I don't think I can hold slugs either.... *eek*

Lisa said...

Starry, yes, they can be invasive to garden plants. But they are great predators to the smaller invasive slugs.

Debbie, we have them in a moist terrarium style habitat. Soil from the garden, leaf litter and damp pieces of wood. We supply them with veggie and fruit leftovers; we only are keeping them for the remaining of the week though. Then they go back to where they came from.

STAY AT HOME MOMMY FROM MAINE said...

Lisa, I just came from Chris' wife soup blog... my girls would probably love the lepoard slug too... as for me... eeewww!!!

Wonder if the slug welcome mat kept away from the garden would attract the slugs... away from the garden???