Another Look at the Newly Discovered Hot Pink Slug form Australia
by Carrie Arnold
He’s big. He’s slimy. And he’s … neon pink?! Meet Triboniophorus aff. graeffei, a new species of 8-inch-long (20-cm-long) slug that’s found only on one Australian mountain.
Scientists already knew that a bright-pink slug lived on Mount Kaputar (map), thinking it was a variety of the red triangle slug, a species common along the east coast of Australia. But new research shows that the colorful critter is actually its own species, said Australia’s National Parks and Wildlife Service ranger Michael Murphy.
“Recent morphological and genetics work by a researcher working on this slug family—the Athorcophoridae—has indicated the Kaputar slugs are a unique species endemic to Mount Kaputar and the only representative of this family in inland Australia,” said Murphy, who’s been stationed on Mount Kaputar for 20 years…
…is a species of air-breathing slug discovered in 2006 in Wales, its full population is not fully known as individuals have been found around Europe. The ghost slug is mainly nocturnal and burrowing and unlike other slugs is a carnivore and actively hunts and kills earthworms with a modified blade-like radula. Also unlike most slugs the ghost slug’s pneumostome and mantle are located at the back of the animal.
Also known as the Ninja slug, the long-tailed slug is a species of semi-slug found only in the state of Sabah in Borneo. Like other semi-slugs the long-tailed slug has a partially visible shell, but it is too small to withdraw into like a snails shell. Like the other members of the genus this gastropod has a long tail which it reportedly wraps around its body when at rest. This slug also uses ‘love darts’ for reproduction.
Being hermaphrodites, slugs possess both male and female organs. However, it cannot simply mate with itself.
When the Leopard Slug(Limax maximus) finds a partner, they dangle off an overhang in a spiraling embrace. The slugs then extend their genitalia, and entwine them. Sperm is exchanged between the membranes, fertilising both slugs.
This species, Arion ater, comes in a wide variety of colours ranging from pure black, through various shades of brown to this rather fetching pale orange. The lower pair of tentacles are for smelling, the upper pair have eyes at their tips. Notice that the eyes look up, not forwards, suggesting that they might be for detecting predators rather than seeking food…
Photo taken beside the lake by Frimley Station, Frimley, England, UK
Species is endemic to deciduous and coniferous forests in mountains, usually at the bottom, or under dead wood logs, in the Carpathian Mountains in Eastern Europe. This is a slug which is blue when adult and 100 - 140 mm in length. Juveniles are yellowish brown with dark lateral bands. Genitalia are without penis. There is only an accessory organ for copulation. There are 30-80 eggs laid in one clutch.Adults die after egg deposition. Half grown juveniles hibernate. Fully grown slugs appear in May…
An illustration of various Pulmonata (and one predator arthropod in the lower right), an informal group of snails and slugs characterized by the ability to breathe air, by virtue of having a pallial lung instead of a gill, or gills. Pulmonata was previously a formal taxon but lost its status as one in 2010. The group includes many land and freshwater families, and several marine families. Most species have a shell, but no operculum, although the group does also include several shell-less slugs. Pulmonates are hermaphroditic, and some groups possess love darts.
(illustration by H. Morin, from The Royal Natural History, 1893)
This banana slug yin-yang is not quite as innocent as it seems. In fact, it’s a bizarre mating dance — and just the beginning of how weird things are about to get for these mollusks.
You see, banana slugs are hermaphrodites, meaning they have both male and female sexual organs. These organs are located, oddly enough, near their heads, explaining the cheek-to-cheek position you see hear. When banana slugs start to mate, they nip, bite, and eventually intertwine, inserting their penises into one another’s genital openings.
Once the sperm transfer is complete, slugs sometimes can’t disengage from one another. That’s when they do something really strange: a process called apophallation. Not to mince words, this means that one or both slugs chew the other’s penis clean off. The organ doesn’t regenerate, so these post-apophallation slugs live the rest of their days as females.
(via: Live Science) (imaget: California Academy of Sciences)