Banana Slug Facts
Banana slugs are commonly found in the foggy redwood Pacific coast forests of northern California, Oregon and Washington. They are land mollusks which means they have a soft body unprotected by a shell with no vertebrate. They eat old decomposing leaves, and dead organic matter . They are the garbage men and women of the forest, a very good thing. They in turn are eaten by snakes, racoons, large birds and the occasional human.
They are true hermaphodites which means they can be male, female or both at once.
When they mate, they insert their penises into eachother at the same time. The strange fact is that sometimes, but not always, when they finish mating one slug will chew the penis off the other, a process called Apophallation. Sometimes it happens that both slugs engage in chewing so that at the end of the mating encounter, both slugs are penis-less. It doesnt grow back.
When I was at a family camp the kids go hunting to find these slug and enter it in a race a rather slow one. They they were released back to the redwoods. Like snails if you try to touch their stalk like eyes they can suck them inside their body to protect the. A slimy and useful creature and fun to look for on your hike in the forest. We spotted this pair mating on a trail about ten miles west of Redwood City about midway between Santa Cruz and San Francisco.