Thursday 23 July 2009

What are slugs up to on your kitchen floor?

Late last night I went to the kitchen and found a couple of large yellow slugs entwined on the kitchen floor. I dashed back to the front of the house to grab the camera but in the few seconds that took me do do it - it is a well rehearsed sprint of mine - they had started going their separate ways. The sudden flash of light when switching on the kitchen light must have shocked them and they went shy. The only indication they had been together was a circle of slime on the tiles. Should I carry my camera with me as I walk around the house? I sometimes think so. I knew nothing about the yellow slug mating habits. The yellow slug Limax flavus is not as good-looking as its relative the Leopard Slug, Limax maximus of fame due to its acrobatic sex featured in David Attenborough's Life in the Undergrowth TV series (see also the fantastic photos in Snail's Tails). I found very little, well, yes, as snails they are hermaphroditic and exhange sperm, although self-fertilisation is not unheard of. I also found a clip of the start of courtship, which happens on the ground. So I am afraid I will have to wait and see if I can catch them again. I cannot believe I am going to look forward to see slugs at home.


Anonymous said...

Yes that's the first time I've heard of anyone looking forward to catching slugs in the house! I take it you wont be walking about the house at night with nothing on your feet?!

Africa Gomez said...

Slippers on of course! I absolutely hate the explosive noise they do when you step on them inadvertently on the dark.