One of our readers has written to us about some slugs that he has found. These slugs are white with black spots. We have done quite a lot of research on slugs and we have found that they could be quite a few different types. Based on the details from our reader, we have decided that these slugs are more than likely the Limax Maximus.
Slugs are very different from worms and caterpillars. They have very distinct features such as tentacles instead of antenna, which are retractable. Slugs do not have a shell; instead they have what is called a mantle which is on the top of their bodies. Slugs produce mucus as they move as a type of protection from predators. This mucus can be sticky or simply feel like water.
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The Limax Maximus is also known as the Leopard Slug. It has a white body with black spots and we think this is the closest match to our reader’s slugs. These types of slugs are some of the largest in the keel family of slugs measuring in at 4 to 8 inches in length. These slugs are native to Europe, but can be found all over the world such as the Eastern United States, Switzerland, Southern Canada, the Midwestern United States, and the West Coast of the United States such as California.
The Limax Maximus has long and slender tentacles that are retractable when it feels it is in danger. The mucus that they produce is colorless and it is not the sticky type. These slugs are nocturnal and feed at night on dead plants and fungi. They live mostly in cellars, damp areas, lawns, and gardens. These slugs thrive off of environments that are very humid. The average life span of one of these slugs is about 2 to 3 years. For the most part, slugs are not dangerous to humans, but just simply more of a nuisance.
In summary, with the information that our reader sent to us, we can determine that the slugs he found are more than likely the Limax Maximus. They have black spots and that puts them in a category with quite a few different types of slugs. There are quite a few varieties of the Limax Maximus but we have determined it is almost certainly in this family of slugs.
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