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Cannibal slugs!

September 16, 2015

Early this morning I saw two Arion sp. slugs in convoy making their way across a path

Two Arions crossing a path

Two Arions crossing a path

The slugs weren’t in the process of copulation, which happens much farther up the body and involves a lot of mucus from what I’ve seen (!), so I was curious to know what was going on (and a bit suspicious because I don’t think I trust Arions to behave nicely). I pulled them apart and found, horrifyingly enough, that the rear slug had been chowing down on the (apparently unconcerned) front slug.

Arion with bitten rear end

Gosh!

Lovely things aren’t they? There is a mucus gland at the rear end of the slug, so it may be that the predator slug was acquiring nutrients the easy way, or it may have been a prelude to mating, or agggressive behaviour. It isn’t something I’ve seen before, but I’m told biting has been reported between Arionids.

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