Guardian Nature School Team Contact Blog Project Noah Facebook Project Noah Twitter

A global community of nature enthusiasts
photographing and learning about wildlife

Join Project Noah!
nature school apple icon

Project Noah Nature School visit nature school

Leopard Slugs

Limax maximus

Description:

Mating slugs. I had never seen this before. It was beautiful! They were attached to the side of the tree with a long snotty strand and were hanging about 6 inches away from it. They were intertwined and spinning too!

Notes:

The mating habits of Limax maximus are considered unusual among slugs: the hermaphrodite slugs court, usually for hours, by circling and licking each other. After this, the slugs will climb into a tree or other high area and then, entwined together, lower themselves on a thick string of mucus, evert their white translucent mating organs (penises) from their gonopores (openings on the right side of the head), entwine these organs, and exchange sperm. Both participants will later lay hundreds of eggs. A commonly seen practice among many slugs is apophallation, when one or both of the slugs chews off the other's penis. The penis of these species is curled like a corkscrew and often becomes entangled in their mate's genitalia in the process of exchanging sperm. When all else fails, apophallation allows the slugs to separate themselves. Once its penis has been removed, a slug is still able to participate in mating subsequently, but only using the female parts of its reproductive system.

Species ID Suggestions



Sign in to suggest organism ID

28 Comments (1–25)

outsidegirl0
outsidegirl0 7 years ago

beautiful!

Carol Snow Milne
Carol Snow Milne 8 years ago

So so incredible!

KarenL
KarenL 8 years ago

Congrats Lisa, your spotting has been featured in the Project Noah Valentine's Day blog! http://blog.projectnoah.org/post/4308288...

Great series, thanks for the information, great spotting.
You encourage me to place my slug spotting, although it is not as interesting as yours.

Mandy Hollman
Mandy Hollman 8 years ago

Great spotting, and thanks for adding it to Southern Romance. Thanks for all the fascinating information. Slugs are bizarre!

LisaPowers
LisaPowers 9 years ago

Dan,
It is not so much that it has to be in a mission, but that this is the most likely place people will search if they have a similar spotting and are looking for a match.

dandoucette
dandoucette 9 years ago

I see what you're saying, there is no mission to cover it,but do all spottings need to be in a mission, even if they techinically don't belong?

LisaPowers
LisaPowers 9 years ago

Thanks Dan...and no, it is not really an insect at all and should not be classified as such, but there are no Tennessee missions that cover it, so hopefully people will read both our notes and understand that. It is at least in the 'other' category.

dandoucette
dandoucette 9 years ago

Cool! I saw the same scene last summer. I'm not sure if this spotting belongs in Insects of TN mission as slugs are a gastropod mollusc. Would that still be considered an insect?

LisaPowers
LisaPowers 9 years ago

Thanks J and nexttogone :-)

nexttogone
nexttogone 9 years ago

Fascinating series! Thanks for posting it!

Jacob Gorneau
Jacob Gorneau 9 years ago

Very interesting!

LisaPowers
LisaPowers 9 years ago

Thanks Larry :-)

LisaPowers
LisaPowers 9 years ago

Thanks Karen! I never thought I would get beautiful pictures of slugs!

LarryGraziano
LarryGraziano 9 years ago

Great series Lisa!

KarenL
KarenL 9 years ago

Beautiful! I never thought I would ever say that about slugs!

LisaPowers
LisaPowers 9 years ago

Thanks Raeven!

Raeven
Raeven 9 years ago

These are Leopard Slugs (Limax maximus). Their mating habits are rather unusual.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limax_maxim...

LisaPowers
LisaPowers 9 years ago

Chester,
Thanks! I have added it as suggested :-)

LisaPowers
LisaPowers 9 years ago

Mayra, Atul, Johan and Chester....thanks, it was a most unexpected event and took a minute for me to process what was occurring.

LisaPowers
LisaPowers 9 years ago

Thanks Emma and Ava! I have a few more add.

Hema
Hema 9 years ago

Happy 300th Lisa!!

Ava T-B
Ava T-B 9 years ago

Happy 300 with this beautiful spotting!

chesterbperry
chesterbperry 9 years ago

Nice spot, you should add it to the southern romance mission.

Johan Heyns
Johan Heyns 9 years ago

Nature in all its facets! Thanks for sharing.

LisaPowers
Spotted by
LisaPowers

Tennessee, USA

Spotted on Aug 26, 2012
Submitted on Aug 27, 2012

Reference

Noah Guardians
Noah Sponsors

Join the Project Noah Team Join Project Noah Team