Banana Slugs in Bay Area

Banana slugs are North American terrestrial slugs comprising the genus Ariolimax. They are often bright yellow (giving rise to the "banana" common name). Philadelphia naturalist Henry A. Pilsbry studied them in the 1890s. Banana slugs are extraordinarily slow. A speedy banana slug only moves 7.5 inches per minute. A large banana slug in another study moved only 6.5 inches in two hours. This lack of speed makes them one of the slowest animals on the planet. Banana slugs have three openings on the right side of their head. The most visible is the pneumostome that banana slugs use to draw breath. The slime covering banana slugs helps deter would-be predators, and not just because of the stickiness. Along with increasing the slime production to create a sticky mouthful, the slime also contains chemicals that act as an anesthetic, numbing the tongue and throat of an animal that tries to eat it. It only takes one attempt to figure out that banana slugs aren't worth the trouble as a snack. Coyote Peterson's YouTube Video "Giant Banana Slug" is worth watching.

Photos of Banana Slugs by Bay Area Hikers

Photo: (2014)
Prairie Creek Redwoods Park

Photo: Karen Kao (2021)
Sanborn County Park

Photo: Henna Fuller
Butano State Park (2017)

Photo: P.Y. Chou (2008)
South Long Ridge Park

Photo: P.Y. Chou (2009)
Memorial County State Park

Photo: P.Y. Chou (2010)
El Corte de Madera Park

Karen's Journal Sketches of Nature

Karen's Nature Journal
February 25, 2021

Karen's Nature Journal
February 26, 2021

Karen's Nature Journal
February 27, 2021

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© Peter Y. Chou, Wisdom Portal
P.O. Box 390707, Mountain View, CA 94039
email: (3-21-2021)