Another Back 40 Gastropoda

Leopard slug, Limax maximus. This species is native to Europe, but is now found in many other parts of the world. I wasn’t aware until just now that this member of the Gastropoda actually does have a “shell,” only it is internal, underneath the shield, which is that spotted portion at the top front end. I think the shell itself is that obvious hump there at the right end of the shield. (Um, no, I didn’t touch it to find out.)
Last year in Inwood Park at the northern tip of Manhattan, during a night hike, we watched these things mate. Whoa! Wikipedia has some images and drawings of this. I’d already seen the episode of Life in the Underbrush that showed this, so I was prepared, but still, to see it live was amazing. Let’s let the inimitable David Attenborough (OK, he’s actually pretty imitable) take it from the top:

There are more things in heaven and earth, readers, than dreamed of in our philosophies.

8 Responses to “Another Back 40 Gastropoda”


  1. 1 Melissa April 7, 2010 at 10:12 am

    oh my god that is incredible…I’m… speechless…agagagagagag wow. Yikes. Whew. Okay, thank you for sharing.

  2. 2 Makiko April 15, 2010 at 11:04 pm

    I’m enjoying your blog. I heard about your blog from my blog friend amarilla. I am interested in your blog. But I can’t use English very well, so amarilla is always “feeling” my words very kindly instead understanding. Forgive me about that.

    By the way, I saw first time this Gastropoda. Very interesting!

  3. 4 theporkshack4 September 25, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    I have these leopard slugs every night. They come out and eat the dog food our dogs didn’t eat. I’m not sure what else they eat, but I don’t want to find out. I had picked 0ne up the other day, there is no exterior shell. They are a slug. If you want pics, please let me know. Ours are bigger.

  4. 5 Sandy Frisch July 11, 2017 at 5:11 am

    Hi , I live in Bath , Pa. , I have large slugs in my yard also just seen them this year , HOW DO WE GET RID OF THEM?


  1. 1 Not at all sluggish « Backyard and Beyond Trackback on April 25, 2011 at 7:30 am
  2. 2 Great Wall Addendum | Backyard and Beyond Trackback on July 31, 2015 at 7:02 am

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