We received some very interesting pictures from a man who found a creature in his living room. The critter appeared to be dried out and dead. It was about 1.25” (~3.2cm) long. Its body was black in color, though its underside was brown. The interesting thing is that it has two or three hook-like appendages around its mouth. He has scoured the internet, but has not been able to identify it.
The first thing that came to mind when reading the description was that our reader had come upon a dead slug. A slug’s optical and sensory tentacles are appendages that are found near the slug’s mouth. Both types of tentacles are retractable, which means that they can be pulled into the creature’s body. So, it makes sense that some of them might not be visible.
Slugs are not worms, they are mollusks. Mollusks include over 80,000 species in the phylum Mollusca. This phylum includes animals such as slugs, snails, squid, and cuttlefish. Slugs have “feet” on the bottoms of their bodies. This is the flat part of the slug that it moves around on. The size of the “foot” depends on the species of slug. It is hard to tell from the photograph if this creature has this type of body or not.
We are unable to identify what type of slug this may be. However, this is not surprising. There are over 40 species of slug that have been described, and they all look slightly different. Plus, this one is dead, dried out, and not looking its best. This is definitely not what it looked like when it was alive and healthy. In fact, we feel rather badly that this is the picture it will be most remembered for, when it may have been quite a handsome slug in life.
Slugs need to stay moist in order to survive, so it is not surprising that a dead slug would appear to be dehydrated. Slugs eat plants and are harmless to humans, so our reader has nothing to worry about. If he happens to find any living specimens, we recommend he catch them and release them outside where they may be able to find enough food and water to survive.