Slugs -- Biology

By The Old House Web
Slugs have been described as snails without shells, though slugs have a "shell" hidden by the fleshy mantel on their back. They are neither an insect nor relative of the spiders. Like insects and spiders, they're also classified as Arthropods, but belong to the mollusk family.

Slugs travel on a slime trail excreted by their single large foot. Eyes are located at the end of the large tentacles on their head. The small tentacles contain organs of smell. Slugs are hermaphroditic -- both sex organs are located on the creature. Cross-fertilization is more common, but under extreme situations, slugs can fertilize themselves, which is an interesting survival technique. Eggs may lay dormant until sufficient moisture is available for hatching.

Slugs prefer a moist, humid environment. They tend to avoid the sun and feed at night. Birds find slugs a satisfactory food, which is another reason for night feeding. Most slugs will hide in soil crevices, earthworm holes, or under leaves, boards or other garden debris during the day. Most slugs will return to the same "nesting" site each evening unless it dries out.

See: Slugs--Baits; Slugs--Barriers; Slugs--Control


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