Kerry Slug Introduction
The Kerry slug lives in just a few places in the world—southwestern Ireland, Portugal, and Spain. Unlike most slugs, its main habitats are woodlands and fields, rather than urban areas. Overgrazing by sheep, pollution, and loss of habitat have threatened it.
The Kerry slug is dark gray or brown with yellow spots. It has a shield, an internal shell, which protects it, and it is covered in mucus. It was named for County Kerry in Ireland where naturalist William Andrews observed it in 1842. He sent specimens to Dublin biologist George James Allman, who formally published his studies about the slug.
In the wild, Kerry slugs eat lichen, moss, fungi, and liverwort growing on boulders and trees. In captivity, they’ve been known to eat plants, dandelions, oatmeal, and bread. How many eggs do Kerry slugs lay and what do they look like?
Keywords to learn
Habitat: an animal’s home and environment
Urban: related to the city
Hey Kids, my name is Kerrie the Kerry Slug and I am very happy to meet you. Learn more about me and my species https://www.kids.nationalgeographic.com
Lifespan:3 to 7 years.
Scientific name:Geomalacus maculosus.
Mass:1 to 2 oz. or less
Length:2.8 to 3.2 inches.
Region Found:Ireland, Portugal, and Spain.
Population Status:Least concerned.
Current population trend:Stable.
Sexual maturity:1 year.
As you have just learned, Kerry slugs are known for their Irish name and their limited range. Now that you know more about the Kerry 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 Kerry Slug here: Kerry Slug (answers are on this page)
Kerry Slug Fun Facts for Kids
- # 1. The scientific name maculosus means spotted. These slugs also have darkly colored bands, which scientists believe are influenced by their exposure to sunlight as they grow.
- # 2. Kerry slugs thrive in places with high humidity, acidic, soil, and warm summers.
- # 3. These slugs can stretch their bodies 2 to 3 inches to get through narrow crevices in rocks.
- # 4.Kerry slugs lay approximately 18 to 30 eggs during the late summer through fall. The milky white eggs hatch 6 to 8 weeks later.
- #5. Kerry slugs can live up to 7 years.
- # 1. What does the scientific name mean in Latin?
- # 2. Where do Kerry slugs live? What conditions do they need?
- # 3. How many eggs do Kerry slugs lay and what do they look like?
- # 4. Describe a Kerry slug’s diet in captivity versus in the wild?
- # 5. How did the Kerry slug get its name?