Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Limax maximus

Limax maximus
Meet Limax maximus, also known as the Leopard Slug. These Gastropods are some of the largets Slugs int he world, and can grow up to 8in long.

It is pretty easy to see where these Slugs got their feline-inspired common name. They have brown bodies that are covered with darker, leopard-like spots. There are actually several different color types, ranging from very pale, to red, to dark, but all have the spots.

Limax maximus originally hailed from Europe and possibly western Africa. However, they have spread very far from home and are now common in North America, South America, and even New Zealand.

You'll find these slugs near humans-- they like to eat trash and other decaying matter, and they normally feed at night. Unfortunately, they also like to feast on young living plants as well, which is why they are considered an invasive pest in the United States, where they feed on crops.

Like all slugs, Limax maximus individuals are hermaphrodites. When they mate, two slugs will circle each other (sometimes for hours and hours) and then eventually climb a tree. The pair will then dangle from the tree by a thick strand a mucus, and it is then that they trade sperm with each other. Each slug will then go on to lay its own eggs.

IUCN Status : Not Listed
Location : Europe
Size : Body Length up to 8in (20cm)
Classification : Phylum : Mollusca -- Class : Gastropoda -- Superfamily : Limacoidea
Family : Limacidae -- Genus : Limax -- Species : L. maximus
Image : max0rz

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