Banana Slug

To be more specific this is a Pacific Banana Slug (Ariolimax columbianus), one of three air-breathing land Banana Slugs. While they don’t have a large fan base they do provide a useful service (when not eating your garden) of cleaning up dead vegetation and turning it into compost.

Pacific Banana Slug (Ariolimax columbianus) 2_watermarked

Stretched out they can sometimes be nearly 10 inches (25.4 cm) long so they aren’t hard to miss. Snakes will eat them occasionally but it isn’t a pretty sight!

Garter Snake & Slug_watermarked

 


3 comments

  1. You didn’t mention what amazing long trails they leave when they climb our windows, which they do way too often. We’ve found them almost reaching our second storey at times. Still, better that than focusing on our plants I suppose. Obnoxious as they can be, they’re much more welcome at our place than their introduced European cousins, the black slugs, which invade our place each spring. While banana slugs in the garden get “relocated” (not always so gently, I admit), we take no prisoners when it comes to the black slugs. Not sure if our garter snakes are helping out by eating these invaders – I certainly hope so.

    • Yes, you’re right – we get the slime trail windows too. Usually just before guests arrive. I have an wide imaginary boundary around our veggie garden and if the slugs stay out of it they are usually safe. The real problem are the small Gray Garden Slug (Milky Slug), another European import. They will devastate our our bean seedlings if I don’t go out and do my nightly slug patrol.

      • Yes, we have those varmints too, alas, and they are very damaging. Numerous times during the gardening season I tip back all the rocks that line the edges of our upper veggie beds,under which they hide. No prisoners taken! Our daily slug patrols are usually in the morning, armed with shovels or trowels and aimed primarily at black slugs – easier to spot than the milkies. Not our favorite spring activity, that’s for sure!


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