Sunday, July 19, 2009

Slug Courtship: Preliminary Rituals.

One of my preoccupations in life are slugs. Some time ago I posted something on tiger slugs, and another blogger just contacted me to tell me she had seen a couple courting in her garden and taken photographs. I (of course!) found this very interesting.


Anonymous Mo said...

Have you seen this clip of leopard slugs mating from from Life in the Undergrowth?

Mon Jul 20, 12:20:00 am  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

Wow, thanks Mo - that's quite amazing...and rather beautiful.

Mon Jul 20, 12:31:00 am  
Blogger Jim Murdoch said...

When I was a kid I was walking home through a field when I suddenly stopped and looking around I realised that I was surrounded by hundreds of black slugs. They were everywhere. It was such a creepy experience and quite enough slugs for one lifetime.

In our fish tank though we have a number of snails. I had never imagined that they could be so graceful or indeed beautiful.

Mon Jul 20, 08:40:00 am  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

I remember an episode like that too, Jim. A friend and I were walking down the side of a main road and we were surrounded! Black slugs, just the same. I've never seen anything like it since.

They are beautiful though, especially the black ones.

Not too keen on the squelchy sound they make in the beginning of this film though. It seems quite loud.

Mon Jul 20, 09:35:00 am  
Blogger Jud said...

I guess the clime where I live is not suitable for a large slug population.

While occasionally encountered, they are not seen often in my neighborhood.

Mon Jul 20, 04:37:00 pm  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

Not terribly damp, I guess, Jud. In the UK there are plenty!

Mon Jul 20, 06:15:00 pm  
Blogger Kay Cooke said...

I will never look at slugs in quite the same way again. Looking at that film clip, I am once again in awe of the patterns, the beauty, the art of nature - the mating of two slugs could so easily be mundane, matter of fact and even I guess, ugly; but no, it is beautiful! Even if it were un-witnessed ... (And I swear I saw a smile on one of the slug's faces! :) )

Tue Jul 21, 05:26:00 am  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

Exactly, Kay - who would have dreamt a pair of slugs mating would have its own 'poetry-in-motion'? :)

Tue Jul 21, 08:18:00 am  
Blogger PermanentlyPerplexed said...

Has anyone seen the excerpt from one of those Nature films (inevitably narrated by David Attenborough) where a snail becomes infested by an insidious parasite?

The parasite burrows itself deep into the snail, initially using it as a living food source but then eventually taking it over in order to propagate itself.

And the method of propagation? The unfortunate snail is made to wave its sticky stalks - bulging with parasite - until a food seeking bird picks it off. The parasite survives in the birds stomach, to be deposited elsewhere and to be become the uninvited 'guest' of some other unwitting snail.

I saw this program years ago but it still has the power to make my spine shiver even now! Talk about scraping up my paranoia strip!! ('The Thing' meets 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers!!)

Wed Jul 29, 03:15:00 pm  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

I haven't seen that one PP, but I have seen something similar involving a caterpillar. Really, really revolting - but also mesmerising. I shall have to look for the one you describe and see if I can see it. Thanks for the tip!

Fri Jul 31, 07:02:00 pm  

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