Banana Slug – Ariolimax columbianus

Tags: Invertebrate, North America, gastropod, herbivore, mollusk, slug

Banana Slug

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This banana slug has a brown body and black spots. Photo by Amy Freeman.

What does a banana slug look like?

The banana slug is the second largest species of terrestrial slug in the world. Banana slugs can be as long as 9.8 inches (25 cm)! This slug is native to the dense, moist forest floors of the Pacific Northwest, ranging from Central California to Alaska. Slugs live on land and in oceans, lakes, and rivers. Banana slugs are terrestrial, meaning they live on land.

Banana slugs get their name because they usually have yellow bodies. Some banana slugs can be found with green, brown, or white bodies. Some banana slugs have spots. The color of banana slugs can change depending on what they eat and the amount of moisture in their environment.

What do banana slugs eat?

Banana slugs are detritivores, or decomposers. They basically eat things like leaves, animal droppings, and dead plant material. In other words, slugs recycle this material into soil. Slugs are gastropods. They are related to snails and mussels.

How does a banana slug move around?

A muscular foot helps slugs move around. Their slime trail also helps them move and often times helps protect them from predators. Slugs are one of the Earth’s slowest creatures. Banana slugs move at a maximum speed of 6.5 inches per minute!

Additional Images:

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We found this banana slug during our first 10 minutes in the temperate rainforest of the Pacific Northwest! Photo by Amy Freeman.

 

 

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