© Stuart M Bennett 2000

Limax maximus
(The Great Grey Slug)

The Keeled Slugs all have a keel or ridge on the hind part of their body, and the lung opening is more than halfway back along the right hand side of the mantle. The Great Grey Slug falls into this category of slug and is the largest member of this group. This is a species of slug which is always found around human habitation. It can often be found crawling in cellars and damp out-buildings and even out across the patio on damp evenings. It feeds mainly on fungi.

The mating habits of this species are truly remarkable. First they court by circling and licking each other fro as long as two and a half hours.

Then the courting pair normally climb up into a bush or tree and then, entwined together, they lower themselves on a rope of very thick mucus, which can be up to 18 inches long. Whilst suspended in mid-air each slug unrolls its 2.5 inch long penis and entwining them together exchange sperm. Soon after mating they lay soft amber eggs in several clusters under stones or any other suitable damp place. If the eggs are laid in autumn they do not hatch until the following spring. Otherwise tiny slugs emerge in a month. They may live up to three years.


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