• Wildlife Friendly Otley

LEOPARD SLUG


I’m not expecting quite so many Likes for this post, but bear with me. My Dad used to gently rib me that all the Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth campaigns I was involved with were to save the cute end of the animal spectrum – what about the slimy and hairy ones? I used to answer that they generally weren’t in existential trouble. That has changed now, of course, with insect numbers plummeting, for example, and I have spent some of lockdown trying to get to know the invertebrates in my garden. The leopard slug has been one of my favourites. As well as their striking appearance, they’re really quite fascinating. For a start, they are actually a friend of the gardener, as they eat other slugs (as well as rotting plants and fungi), and whereas in Britain they are almost always found near human habitation, in Ireland the opposite is the case. They also have an extraordinary mating method: the pair use a thick strand of mucus to hang suspended in the air from a branch or other structure (please don’t try this at home).


Photo by Pixabay

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