Sponsored. Being a slug, it is slow moving, and soft, making it very vulnerable to attack by other animals living in the area such as raccoons, foxes, crows, beetles, and other predators. The Banana Slug has attracted a good deal of national attention over the years. Tongues aren’t the only things that are susceptible, says Viney. Banana Slug Fun Facts In 1986, amid controversy, the banana slug became the official mascot of the University of California, Santa Cruz campus. The slime is actually a mucus that contains a chemical that numbs the tongues of potential predators. Leopard Slugs This is the trick question. Slug excretions not only provide nitrogen-rich fertilizer, but also help to disperse spores and seeds needed for forest plant regeneration. If I licked too hard and got some of the slug’s slime on my tongue, I would experience directly one of the many benefits of being slimy: protection from predators. Banana slugs (Ariolimax columbianus) can vary … The banana slug’s slime will also make a predator’s tongue go numb. The black slug mainly feeds on plants and fungi and at times supplements its diet by consuming worms, decaying vegetation, feces, and insects. Banana slugs produce a lot of mucus in self-defense, causing their predators’ mouths to be filled with goop and a slippery slug. Banana slug slime is also an anesthetic, meaning it will make a predator’s tongue or throat go numb. The slime covering a banana slug helps deter would-be predators, and not just because of the stickiness. In June 2011, Sammy celebrated 25 years as the official mascot of UC Santa Cruz. They die of shrivelling up in the sun, or by predators eating them. It’s a banana slug. Predators for the Banana Slug include raccoons, garter snakes, ducks, geese, salamanders, shrews, and moles. They basically eat things like leaves, animal droppings, and dead plant material. The banana slug is the second largest slug in the world, measuring up to 9.8 inches in length. Banana Slugs live on a little while. Will eat anything. If you can improve it, please do. Banana slug has a dense distribution in California. The Banana slug is considered a good slug as it is usually not found in our gardens but prefers the natural habitat of the forest floor and the cool temperament of the rainy coastal winters. For perspective, an average-sized banana is 7 to 8 inches. The Banana Slug is a native resident that has become an iconic symbol of the Pacific Northwest, including being the official mascot of UC Santa Cruz. One of their closest relatives is the snail. A classic Banana Slug, with a yellowish brown body and black spots. Banana slug slime contains nasty chemicals that numb the tongue of any animal that attempts to nibble it, discouraging predators like raccoons, who have to go to the trouble of removing the slime if they want to eat the slug. The banana slug's diet and habitat are really the only remotely normal things about them. Predators: Reptiles, birds, amphibians, fish and other mammals will prey on Banana Slugs. What Do Black Slugs Eat? Two years later, with prompting from local Peninsula children, the State Legislature voted to elevate the creature to State Mollusk , … To counteract this, raccoons will roll the banana slug in soil to create a panko crust of debris. Since the banana slug’s ecological niche is not yet fully understood, we shouldn’t be surprised to learn that there are other praiseworthy contributions. The banana slug is the second largest slug in the world, measuring up to 9.8 inches in length. It is known as nature’s garbage collector as it slowly glides along on a trail of slime consuming dead or decaying matter, animal feces, and mushrooms. The banana slug's color, which gives it its famous nickname, also acts as a very important adaptation. Like almost all air-breathing gastropods, it has two small eye spots at the top of the upper tentacles, which can move independently to scan for danger. They are a large slug, often grey or brown in colour with black spots or markings, similiar to those on a leopard, hence the name. In the case of the Banana Slug, though, as with some other brightly colored animals, this is a ruse. The banana slug also has a mucus plug at the tip of its tail. When under siege, a Banana Slug contracts its muscles, making it more compact. Bon appetit! The banana sea slug (Notodoris minor) is a coral reef-dweller, and its gaudy colour is camouflage: when crawling across a yellow sea sponge – its preferred food – it becomes hard to spot. I've long been fascinated by this colorfully slimy little slug. Banana Slugs are not actually poisonous; it is one of nature's tricks to help them keep from being eaten. warning to predators that a plant or animal is poisonous. Amy Freeman . Bon appetit! Kind of like a spider, the slug creates a slime rope from this plug and uses it like a rappelling line to descend from high places. A pebble sized hole on the side of their head gives their single lung breathing access, while their radula, a long thin row of microscopic teeth, is located on the ground at the front of the stomach. Banana slugs thrive in the moist coastal redwood forest climate. The bottom two tentacles are for feeling and smelling—both senses far more honed in the slug than its limited sense of vision. To counteract this, raccoons will roll the banana slug in soil to create a panko crust of debris. Not only will it devour many species of plant, this slug is also a predator who will stalk and eat other slugs. Banana slugs have a coating of mucus over their bodies which tastes horrible to predators. In the case of banana slugs, something quite fascinating and dorky happens when they mate. The animals are found in the forests of the Pacific Northwest, with the temperate redwood forests of Northern California proving a popular hangout spot for these slugs. Thus many of these useful natural predators of the slug meet an untimely end. On the other hand, the eye-catching patterns of many sea slugs warn predators to leave them alone because their bodies are filled with noxious chemicals. WikiProject Gastropods (Rated C-class, High-importance) This article is within the scope of WikiProject Gastropods, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of gastropods on Wikipedia. Banana Slugs are Gastropods, propelling themselves by a muscular “foot” underside that also serves as the slug’s stomach. Banana slugs have a coating of mucus over their bodies which tastes horrible to predators. This deters predators from eating the Banana Slug. On average, a slug can lay 400 to 500 eggs in a year most of which remain under the soil waiting for favorable conditions to hatch. Banana Slugs are detritivores, and recycle organic material such as leaves, animal droppings, and dead plants. Some sea slugs produce toxins themselves; … The Pacific banana slug is the second-largest species of slug in the world, growing up to 25cm (9.8 inches) long (the largest slug is Limax cinereoniger of Europe, which can reach 30 cm (12 inches) in length). mouth numbing mucus making it a less appealing meal. They are detritivores, or decomposers. click image to see more Life on the Creek art. The non-native European Slug is now also common within the lush, damp forest ecosystems of the park. For perspective, an average-sized banana is 7 to 8 inches. Banana Slugs can be a s long as 9.8 inches (25 cm)! Just to be clear Ellmore doesn’t share that fact with kids who visit the park. This article has been rated as C-Class. The Great Grey Slug of Europe is a voracious garden pest, and the fastest of our slugs. It produces a sticky, foul-tasting. 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). A banana slug is a type of mollusk, with the classic soft body of a mollusk but no hard external shell. They perform an important function by cleaning up the forest floor and then enriching the soil with the digested remains. Kristen Thomas (author), Southwestern University, Stephanie Fabritius (editor), Southwestern University. R. Jeanette Martin of Gabriola Island, B.C., might not have expected her time-lapse of a Pacific banana slug devouring a dandelion to rack up almost three million views in less than a week, but it appears that at least some viewers are ready for a break from kittens and predator-prey chases. Banana slugs are usually bright yellow (somewhat resembling a banana) although they may also be green, brown, or white. Banana slug has been listed as a level-5 vital article in an unknown topic. The California banana slug is the second largest slug in the world after the European Limax cinereoniger. But this is just one of many ways slugs depend on slime, and they use it for everything from locomotion to nutrition. It can grow up to 10 inches long, move about 6.5 inches per minute, and can have variations in coloration based upon diet, exposure to light and elements, and the moisture levels present in the atmosphere. This is a Banana Slug. Glossary. Yet when they are spotted by predators, the Banana Slug has yet another use for its mucus. The banana slug inhabits forest floors, especially in forests found in the Pacific North West. They breathe through their skin. The mucus also contains an anesthetic which can make the predator’s mouth tissue numb, making chewing all but impossible. These slugs will eat other slugs, so it is a predator. Four color varieties of banana slugs . Banana slugs produce a lot of mucus in self-defense, causing their predators’ mouths to be filled with goop and a slippery slug. It really doesn’t taste very nice and a slug will often be spat out by an animal before they can be chewed. In 2008, ... And, when the men's tennis team played in the NCAA championships, their T-shirts read: "Banana Slugs-No Known Predators." They’re part of a large group of animals called mollusks. Nearctic. The unusually large secretory cells of Ariolimax columbianus, or the Banana slug, are vital to their survival in assuring moisture to their naked body, a mode of locomotion and a warning signal to predators or an invitation to other slugs. Do banana slugs look like bananas? Banana slugs aren’t worms. They have a fondness for mushrooms, and spread seeds and spores as they eat. They recycle this material into soil. Not only is the slime difficult to wipe off and unpalatable to eat, but it also contains an anesthetic that can numb the slug nibbler. Raccoons will often roll the slug … The banana slug's resemblance to tree leaves help them hide from predators. They are the second largest species of terrestrial slug in the world. On the whole, these slugs are jaw-droppingly weird. Banana slugs do have a number of predators, including newts, and frustrated gardeners, but perhaps their most formidable natural predator in this part of California is the Coast Garter Snake (Thamnophis elegans terrestris). The banana slug is the official mascot of the University of California, Santa Cruz as approved by a student vote. It is able to crawl four times faster than the Banana Slug, perhaps 6 inches in a minute. (Hill 1997) Contributors. living in the Nearctic biogeographic province, the northern part of the New World. Banana slugs show apophallation, which means after a successful mate the male sex organ, gets amputated. The banana slug has two sets of tentacles. Margo Roseum. Banana slugs eat leaves, mushrooms, dead plant material, and even animal waste.