Leopard Slug

Limax maximus

Shetland Biological Records Centre

Leopard Slugs were introduced to America, but are now common. They grow to four inches. They are usually grayish yellow with black spots or bands. Often they are wrinkled.

Leopard Slugs have four tentacles on their head; two long ones and two short ones.

Leopard Slugs live in fields, woods, and gardens. They prefer damp, shady places. In daylight, you can find them under rocks, logs, and similar places.

These slugs are mostly nocturnal, but will sometimes come out on rainy days.

Naturhistoriska museet

Courtesty of the Royal British Columbia Museum, Photographer: Philip Lambert

Copyright, Wolfgang Fischer

Leopard Slugs have interesting mating habits. First, they will circle each other, before intertwining their bodies. They do this from a tree branch or near an edge. Next, the two slugs will fall from the branch and hang, suspended by mucus slime. After mating, since slugs are hermaphroditic, both slugs will be able to lay eggs.

Leopard Slug eggs are clear and laid in groups of over 100. New slugs will hatch the following Spring. Leopard Slugs typically live up to three years.

As these slugs hunt at night, they glide on a cushion of mucus slime. This slime leaves a trail, which slugs will use to return to the same feeding spot the next night.

Leopard Slugs eat leaves, flowers, and fruits of plants. They will also eat mushrooms, carrion (dead animals), and will regularly hunt other slugs.

Leopard Slugs have many predators, including: toads, turtles, beetles, birds, flies, and fireflies.

Additional Media

Description
Type
Credit
Slug Anatomy Diagram
Link to Printable Page
EnchantedLearning.com

Relationships in Nature:

FOOD
PREDATORS
SHELTER
OTHER

Elegant Stinkhorn

Eastern Box Turtle

Virginia Creeper

Brainworm Nematode Pa

English Plantain

American Toad

Poison Ivy

White-tailed Deer (see Brainworm Nematode)

Crowded Parchment

Common Black Ground Beetle

White Cushion Moss

Honey Mushroom

Pennsylvania Firefly

Bracken Fern

Red Clover

Blue Bottle Fly

Red Clover

Queen Anne's Lace

Common Snapping Turtle

Common Ragweed

Turkey Tail

Wood Frog

Black-eyed Susan

Jack O'Lantern

Barred Owl

Skunk Cabbage

Meadow Mushroom

Least Shrew

Chicory

Pear-shaped Puffball

Five-lined Skink

Kentucky Bluegrass

Common Ragweed

Wild Turkey

Wild Strawberry

Black-eyed Susan

Mallard

Skunk Cabbage

American Robin

Chicory

Virginia Opossum

Kentucky Bluegrass

Eastern Chipmunk

Wild Strawberry

Mourning Dove

Northern Ringneck Snake

Striped Skunk

Eastern Mole

European Starling

Relationship to Humans:

Leopard Slugs are considered great pests by most people. They can do great damage in gardens when there are many of them. However, they also eat some plants which we consider weeds.

SCIENTIFIC CLASSIFICATION

KINGDOM
Animal
PHYLUM
Mollusks
CLASS
Gastropoda
ORDER
Stylommatophora
FAMILY
Limacidae
GENUS
Limax
SPECIES
Limax maximus

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