Who Couldn’t Love a Banana Slug?

This may not be everyone’s idea of a neat critter, but the Banana Slug has a lot going for it.

Not your common garden slug (you will rarely find it there), this terrestrial gastropod is the world’s second largest slug, and is native to cool, temperate coastal rainforests of the Pacific northwest. Here, the Banana Slug spends its days happily sniffing out and munching on decaying plant and animal material, doing the world a favour with this garbage cleanup routine. In turn, it is itself food for birds, small mammals and reptiles. Sounds like a win-win, to me.

Not all Banana Slugs are yellow, but this one was the prettiest I’ve seen. We found it along the Tow Hill Trail in northern Haida Gwaii in June. We didn’t touch it….the idea of the slime is off-putting. But it’s not poisonous—though it may numb your tongue if you decide to take a taste (eew!). It’s hard to rinse off the skin, so best to let it dry, then it rubs off easily…so I’m told.

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