Here are 10 interesting facts about leopard slugs.
1. Usually, they measure up to 13 cm (5.2 in.), though there may be exceptionally large specimens of up to 20 cm (8 in.) in length.
2. This species of slug has a small rudimentary shell beneath its mantle shield – this is the section just behind its head.
3. Leopard slugs will eat other slugs and their eggs. The presence of leopard slugs has even been observed to lead to a decrease of harmful slug species. They eat decaying plant material and even mold.
4. When they mate they twine round each other and hang by a slime thread in mid-air. David Attenborough describes the process in detail and you can see it here:
5. Slugs along with all other molluscs are hermaphrodite, ie they each have both male and female bits!
6.Leopard slugs produce around 200 eggs after mating.
7. When pursuing other slugs they can reach a top speed of 6 inches per minute.
8. They have a strong homing instinct. After their nocturnal rambles or foraging expeditions they usually return to the particular crevice or chink in which they have established themselves.
9. Prior to mating the two slugs circle round each other for several hours and spend some time licking each other.
10.They have been introduced into parts of America and Canada, but originate from Europe.
English: Drawings of color variability of Limax maximus
Date7 November 1902
SourceTaylor J. W. (7 November) 1902. part 8, pages 1-52. Monograph of the land and freshwater Mollusca of the British Isles. Testacellidae. Limacidae. Arionidae. Taylor Brothers, Leeds. page plate VI. (after page 46). Cropped and retouched