Article

Banana Slugs

Tags: 

by Hanae Armitage

For such an innocuous forest dweller, the banana slug (a mollusk in the genus Ariolimax ) harbors some wildly bizarre secrets. Of course, a few normal factoids apply—they grow to almost 10 inches long, can travel 6 ½ inches per minute and maintain a diet of leaves, dead plants, mushrooms and animal droppings. Banana slugs are the second largest slug in the world and are found in the western coastal coniferous forest floors between Santa Cruz and Alaska, where they crawl beneath coastal redwoods, Douglas firs and Sitka spruces. They typically sport a slimy overripe banana look complete with brown spots; however, some can be green, brown or white.

The banana slug's diet and habitat are really the only remotely normal things about them. On the whole, these slugs are jaw-droppingly weird. They breathe through their skin. Their eyes sit on the end of retractable antennas, and they essentially have an “off” button that causes estivation—a defense mechanism against unfavorable conditions (heat and dryness). During estivation, the banana slug will secrete a layer of protective mucus, bury itself in soil and leaves, and effectively shut down until conditions are livable.

RELATED ARTICLES
Coast Redwoods
California Newt

The slimy mucus layer plays several roles in the life of a banana slug. It protects from dehydration, sends chemical signals and aids in movement and respiration. A curious animal that prods the banana slug with its nose or tongue will quickly discover that the slime acts as an anesthetic. This is why banana slugs have no natural predators—and why “lick the banana slug” is a popular dare among coastal forest hikers.

But it’s their sexual behavior that’s most…erm…fascinating. As hermaphrodites, banana slugs possess both male and female reproductive organs, allowing self-fertilization—no mate needed. The banana slug can reproduce all on its own. (The physical details of this feat remain a bit murky, but with the penis near the slug's tail and the genital pore near its head, one imagines a circular configuration.) Sexual mating, however, is a far more common choice.

Once a slug has decided to mate, it will secrete a chemical-laden slime that flags down other consenting slugs. The partners begin by eating each other’s slime. These love bites prime a genetic exchange in which each slug inserts its penis into the other’s genital pore. Copulation can last for hours in this yin-yang like formation. Talk about the circle of life.

And then the grand finale: The Penis Gnaw-off. Perhaps that’s not the technical term, but it’s accurate nonetheless. At the end of sex, one or both of the banana slugs will chew off the other’s penis to disengage from blissful union.

And no, their penises do not grow back.

Category: 

Field Notes

Plant your flag! Upload a photo, video, field note, nature poem or question for our army of (mostly) amateur naturalists.

 

Tư thế quan hệ này làm cho nữ đạt cực khoái bởi vì "cậu bé" đưa vào âm đạo ở mức độ tối đa. quan hệ tình dục

 

Với vị trí tọa lạc giữa trung tâm Hà Nội, chúng tôi sẽ đến các địa chỉ tại quận nhanh nhất. Chúng tôi đến tận nơi, kiểm tra máy miễn phí, và có nhiều hỗ trợ cho khách hàng sử dụng dịch vụ.
http://haiminhco.com.vn/cho-thue-may-photocopy-toshiba-gia-re-uy-tin-tai...

 

This is my first time i visit here. I found so many interesting stuff in your blog especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your articles, I guess I am not the only one having all the enjoyment here keep up the good work hammaste valgendamine

 

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often. NDR reviews

 

youtube subscribers I’ve read some good stuff here. Definitely worth bookmarking for revisiting. I surprise how much effort you put to create such a great informative website. youtube views

 

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often. laptop repair delray beach

 

I was surfing net and fortunately came across this site and found very interesting stuff here. Its really fun to read. I enjoyed a lot. Thanks for sharing this wonderful information. cccam server

 

Its a great pleasure reading your post.Its full of information I am looking for and I love to post a comment that "The content of your post is awesome" Great work. san diego wedding photographer

 

We help Canadian and American Expats, Temporary Guests and Snowbirds with assets on both sides of the U.S.-Canada border — optimally structure their investments, liabilities and retirement savings in order to reduce their tax burden and minimize fees immigration to the us

 

i am for the first time here. I found this board and I in finding It truly helpful & it helped me out a lot. I hope to present something back and help others such as you helped me. all about maine

 

Great post, you have pointed out some excellent points, I as well believe this is a very superb website. Smart Projector

 

Great post, you have pointed out some excellent points, I as well believe this is a very superb website. Smart Projector

 

It’s a great experience to explore the large and vast range of flora and fauna in our mother earth. There are millions of species other than humans making us only a fraction of the total number of species. The Banana Slug is the evolution of slugs to adapt to their surroundings and escape from predators by camouflage. die casters in mexico

 

I think this is one of the most significant information for me. And i’m glad reading your article. But should remark on some general things, The web site style is perfect, the articles is really great : D. Good job, cheers best soundbar for the money

 

I can see that you are an expert at your field! I am launching a website soon, and your information will be very useful for me.. Thanks for all your help and wishing you all the success in your business. aumento visite youtube

 

Positive site, where did u come up with the information on this posting? I'm pleased I discovered it though, ill be checking back soon to find out what additional posts you include. Aufsperrdienst Wien

 

This blog website is pretty cool! How was it made ! Bluetooth Adapter

 

Nice to be visiting your blog once more, it has been months for me. Well this article that ive been waited for therefore long. i want this article to finish my assignment within the faculty, and it has same topic together with your article. Thanks, nice share. tempat hipnotis di

 

A very awesome blog post. We are really grateful for your blog post. You will find a lot of approaches after visiting your post. voyance telephone

 

youtube subscribers The website is looking bit flashy and it catches the visitors eyes. Design is pretty simple and a good user friendly interface. youtube views

 

This is the first time I am hearing about banana slugs. I guess this is a worm with extraordinary feature such as breathing through the skin. Why is it named banana slug? Is it due to its shape and color? Is it poisonous? mobile home manufacturer

 

I enjoy reading your blog, every time I come here. Thanks for putting up great content. Please also visit my site: Fintax Experts Reviews.

 

This approach is normally how it looks quite best. Every one about health issues demonstrates really are made using many different ways of life proficiency. I propose you the technology rather a lot. outube 2 mp3

 

This is really on top of that a truly decent advertisment you honestly professional exploring because of. It will be far away from regularly now we have hazard to look into something. Buy cheap Adipex

 

This is the reason online marketing specials efforts so you can effective analyze earlier than post. Put simply to write down more beneficial destination of this nature. digitizing pictures for embroidery

 

Yes i am totally agreed with this article and i just want say that this article is very nice and very informative article.I will make sure to be reading your blog more. You made a good point but I can't help but wonder, what about the other side? !!!!!!THANKS!!!!!!https://www.youtube.com/c/AGNnewsChannel

 

You need to go on that good do the job in addition to When i count on far more of this brilliant sites. indonesia furniture