Banana Slug

by Justin on September 10, 2007

Banana SlugBanana SlugAriolimax columbianus

Banana Slugs are a mollusk, which means they have a soft body with no visible skeleton. Being that they are bright yellow with black blotches and spots, “Banana” is a very reasonable name for this larger slug native to the Western United States and Pacific Northwest. Although there are more than one species of Banana Slug the basic term is taken to mean the Pacific Banana Slug which is the worlds 2nd largest slug coming in at around 10 inches in length!

Banana Slugs are beneficial to the environment in many ways by digesting leaves and ground debris turning it into mulch and new dirt. A lot of times you will find this slug near or around naturally occurring mushrooms which they seem to prefer for food.

The thick mucus slime that they produce is needed for the slug to keep body moisture and to lubricate its path in order to move more efficiently. This mucus is also necessary for the breathing process of the slug to take place, when gases are being exchange from its body.

This slug is a good meal for many backyard predators such as raccoons, snakes, ducks, geese, and salamanders, but before they become a meal most critters will roll the slug around in dirt to remove the thick layer of mucus that would prevent the predator from digesting it easily.

As if I wasn’t going to say anything, yes you can kill a Banana Slug with salt. The salt acts on the mucus and skin of the slug by dehydrating it through bringing the blood to the surface, but why would you want to do that?

By Jesse G. Roland

2 comments… read them below or add one

Kristine September 11, 2007 at 12:06 pm

I won’t put salt on the banana slug if he promises to stay on his side of the tree. Slugs are pretty much classed with snakes in my book. So I guess it’s a case of I’ll leave him alone if he leaves me alone.

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Jesse September 13, 2007 at 11:20 am

Yeah I definitely understand you there, I’m a guy and despite my manliness (yeah right) I still don’t like snakes…but because slugs move a lot slower and cant bite you I would rather have one of them.

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