Slug facts

Here are some things you may not have known about slugs.

  • There are approximately 40 species of slug found in the UK, with only a small number of them considered as pest species.
  • Slugs travel at speeds that vary from slow (0.013 m/s) to very slow (0.0028 m/s).
  • If you are considering growing lettuce, the Cos variety has proved the most slug-resistant.

[1] Great grey slug (Limax maximus) [2] Cos lettuce

  • Slugs consume around forty times their weight in the space of a day
  • Limax maximus, the great grey slug, can stretch to approximately twenty times its length in order to squeeze through narrow gaps.
  • The largest UK slug is Limax cinereoniger, which can reach up to 25cm when fully grown.

[3] Limax cinereoniger is Britains largest slug. [4] Leopard slugs eat fungi.

  • Not all slugs eat lettuce; leopard slugs eat fungi, rotting plants and even other slugs, and there are three species of slugs, of the Testacella family, that eat earthworms.
  • A slug has approximately 27,000 teeth!
  • Slugs are food. All sorts of mammals, thrushes, slow worms, earthworms and insects eat them. Some people eat them, fried with garlic.

Slow worms, thrushes and badgers all eat slugs.

  • Slug blood is green. The proteins in slug blood carry copper atoms instead of iron; copper also attracts oxygen. The copper gives the blood a bluish green colour.
  • That was ten interesting things you probably didn’t know about slugs; here is an extra one for luck: slugs can live for six years.

3 thoughts on “

  1. We have a number of leopard slugs in our compost bins, is this good or bad? Some are huge!

    1. Leopard slugs are a Good Thing. They eat rotting vegetation and fungi so the compost bin is the right place for them; they also hunt and eat the little slugs that are eating your lettuce. Perhaps you could try putting a couple among your lettuce seedling one night as guard-slugs.

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