Black Slug (Gastropod Mollusk)
Black Slug Introduction
Black Slugs have much in common with snails, a close relative. They feed on farm crops and garden plants and are considered an invasive species in many areas. They leave thick lines of mucus (slime trails), which help them move. And they like to hide in dark, moist places. Unlike snails, they do not have a visible shell.
Black Slugs are native to Europe, but they now live in many areas of the world, and are a real problem for farmers in the Pacific Northwest of the United States.
They’re usually deep black, but they can also be brown, rust, or even white. Differences in color are caused by age and geographical location. Black Slugs usually become darker as they mature.
Keywords to learn
Carrion: Dead animals.
Hermaphroditic: Having both male and female sex organs.
Hey Kids, my name is Bo the Black Slug and I am very happy to meet you. Learn more about me and my species https://www.kids.nationalgeographic.com
Scientific name:Arion ater L.
Mass:1 ounce or less.
Length:1 to 3 inches.
Region Found:In most parts of the world.
Population Status:Least concerned (invasive species).
Current population trend:Stable.
Sexual maturity:9 months.
As you have just learned, Black Slugs are related to snails and are very similar. Now that you know more about the Black Slug by learning the key data above, be sure also to check out the fun facts. When you are finished learning the facts, try answering the questions in the Q&A corner on the bottom right side of the page.
Download questions about the Black Slug here: Black Slug (answers are on this page)
Black Slug Fun Facts for Kids
- # 1. Black Slugs are omnivores. They eat carrion, earthworms, dung, planets and fungi.
- # 2. Black Slugs produce three types of mucus, one that is toxic to deter predators, one that helps them move and one that keeps from drying out.
- # 3. Black Slugs are hermaphroditic, which means they have both male and female sexual organs.
- # 4. In the fall, after mating, Black Slugs lay between 20 and 150 eggs in moist, dark places. They continue laying eggs every 1 to 3 weeks through October, after which they usually die.
- #5. The gestation period for the black slugs eggs are around 30 days.
- # 1. In what parts of the world does the Black Slug live?
- # 2. Why is the Black Slug considered a pest or an invasive species?
- # 3. What types of mucus does the Black Slug produce?
- # 4. How long does a Black Slug live?
- # 5. What determines a Black Slugs color?