I saw this lovely Leopard Slug on my path early this morning on my way to work. Leopard Slugs look rather like normal slugs on a night out, wearing fetching leopard-skin outfits. This one looked like it was on its way home after a big one.
One of the weird things about Leopard Slugs is the way they mate. Once paired up, they hang on a thick mucus thread, curled up together in a load of slime. I once saw a pair of them hanging from the corner of my bird table – it was quite a sight!
One of our previous curators here, Adrian Norris, is an expert on slugs, and he added many to our museum collection while he worked here. The best way to preserve slugs is to put them in jars of ethanol, as they are soft-bodied and can’t be taxidermied like vertebrates (animals with backbones, for example birds and mammals). We have several jars of leopard slugs, as well as other species, in our collection.
By Natural Sciences Curator Rebecca Machin