The Sluggish Secret of Slime

See a slug? Don’t rush off for that bottle of salt or bowl of beer (two favorite methods of execution for this shell-less mollusk.) Instead, check out this KQED Deep Look video.

According to Deep Look, slime is a slug’s greatest defense. The article accompanying the video states, “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. But this is just one of many ways slugs depend on slime, and they use it for everything from locomotion to nutrition.”

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8 comments

  • Thanks Kym. I enjoy learning about nature.
    I saw my first wild iris of the year yesterday.

    • Beautiful! Our wild iris are almost white. (Although I’m very partisan to Salmon Creek, I have to admit I love these vibrant ones the most.)

  • Just yesterday I was telling a friend from France about the banana slug! Cool slug!

  • I cant remember the last time i saw a banana slug .that may be a sign of things that are happening to the slug .

  • I have banana slugs fairly frequently. For whatever reason, they don’t bother the garden crops. The milky slug and the red slug are garden terrors though. Truly they are the only pests on which I wage war.

  • We used to have a bunch of slugs and then I didn’t see any for a couple
    decades and now they are back. I never kill them. There’s plenty of forest so I just remove them to greener pastures.

    • I used to have a recurrent fantasy about throwing a garden snail over the fence into my neighbor’s yard. Who then repeated the action. Again and again until the same snail fell back into my yard from the neighbor on the other side, having circumnavigate the globe.

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