Monday, April 15, 2019

Pacific Banana Slug

We discovered our first Pacific Banana Slug on our driveway in Olympia on 5 April 2019. These slugs are the second largest species of terrestrial slug, growing up to almost 10 inches. (The largest, which grow up to a foot, are found in Europe.) Colors vary from yellow to tan or white. Their black spots can make them appear to be black. The colors also vary with food, light, moisture and/or health of the animal. Banana Slugs are prone to desiccation. To avoid drying out, they often secrete a layer of slimy mucus. They remain inactive in dry conditions and are often most active at night.

Banana Slugs are found from southeastern Alaska to Santa Cruz, California. They inhabit coastal coniferous rainforests. These slugs eat dead leaves, small plants, and animal excrement and recycle these materials into the soil. They consume mushrooms and spread mushroom spores. The slugs have a number of predators, including raccoons shrews, moles, garter snakes, waterfowl, and salamanders (Wikipedia). 

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