So… I’m at my parent’s house this week for a long overdue visit, and, as all dog owners must do, I was taking my dog out for her last sniff before bed. That’s when I saw it. The behemoth… The beast… The monster… Jabba the Hutt!
Ok, technically its not actually Jabba, but it was HUMONGOUS. I mean like at least 7 inches long. Longer than my cell phone camera for sure. That’s a HUGE slug! Now I know I’ve complained about the slugs at my house that eat all my berries – and there definitely are a lot of them, but they have nothing on the size of this guy. Maybe I should start carrying a ruler around for proof?
This Jabba the Hutt-sized slug is the infamous Leopard Slug, Limax maximus. The species is originally native to Europe, but is now found pretty much around the world. While they can be beneficial eating decaying matter like rotting logs and plants, they can also be major agricultural pests eating plants and things that aren’t decaying. And, fun fact, like Jabba, they sometimes eat other slugs. There’s even reports of them eating dead animals. So really, they just eat everything…
Normally these guys hide out under rocks and logs and things, but they do like to make an appearance after a good rain. Like the other night. When I found Jabba on the side of my parents shed. And of course, since I did catch Mr Jabba out and about instead of hiding in his lair, I had to take a couple photos. Often easier said than done in the dark with my cell phone. It took me a few minutes of messing with the “night sight” option on my phone, then I decided I’d just try turning the flash on and… Whoa baby! That’s when I really got the slug’s attention. The second I turned my phone flash on - it stayed on since it was dark- the slug immediately turned around and started reaching out for my phone! It was grabbing for the light! It started waving its mouth tentacles around… the light… the light… Give me the light! Nom, nom, nom, nom, nom…. !!?!
Yeah, I’m not sure why Jabba was so attracted to my phone light (apparently slugs being attracted to light is a pretty common phenomena), but I certainly did not give him my light. I’m afraid I’m not fan of slug slime covering my things. Jabba will just have to do without eating the light. Still. It was quite a reaction. I wasn’t expecting it, but it was rather interesting to see. Nom nom nom nom…. lol.
—-> Ok. Quick followup for those of you who don’t get my Jabba the Hutt reference, like my mom apparently (yeah I know right!?!). Jabba is the giant slug like creature in the Star Wars movies who plays a scary crime lord type bad guy. The third movie in the original series, Return of the Jedi… Now you know. <—–
Want to read more about Leopard Slugs?
For a hilarious, but also very educational video on slugs in general, check out True Facts. I love this guy’s whole series of nature videos.
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