Banana Slug

Ariolimax columbianus

Banana Slug

Appearance

Banana slugs are one of the largest slugs in the world! They can grow up to 26 centimetres long. Banana slugs can also have 27,000 teeth on a long tooth-covered “tongue”. They come in a range of colours, from yellow to brown to black and many are mottled with black spots.

Range & Habitat

Banana slugs like a moist, cool environment and are native to the B.C. temperate coastal rainforest. In B.C., this animal is found in the Coast and Mountains ecoprovince.

Diet & Behaviour

They are nocturnal feeders, eating decaying animals, mushrooms, and plants.. Slugs are important in the forest for recycling nutrients back into soil. Their slime, which keeps them moist so they can glide along the forest floor, also has an antiseptic that will numb your mouth if you lick one. First Nations used the slime to numb toothaches.

Lifecycle & Threats

Banana slugs lay 20 to 30 eggs that look like small chicken eggs. The eggs spend winter in the ground and hatch the following spring. Young slugs spread from the nest and find their own home range, with a good supply of food and shelter. Their predators include birds, small mammals and reptiles.

Status

COSEWIC: Not at Risk
CDC: Yellow

More Information

www.animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu

Photo: Bwmaddog21

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