Friday, September 10, 2010

La limace rouge

It's called arion rufus, the red slug. But the ones I see are mostly bright orange, like this one. They live mostly in the woods around the vineyards, preferring the dark and moist ground to the bright sun. After our recent rains, the paths through the woods are crawling with them. If it weren't for their bright color, it would be easy to step on them. Yuck.

A red slug climbing up an embankment.

One interesting feature of land slugs is the pneumostome or breathing pore. When it's wide open, it looks as if something has taken a huge bite out of the slug. In fact, when I saw this one (below) I thought it was injured or sick. But it turns out that it was just taking in the fresh woodland air.

This slug's pneumostome, wide open, is visible just behind its head.

This is another example of how amazing and useful the internet can be. I was able to type "orange slug" into Google, then find all kinds of information about what this creature is called, where it lives, what it eats, and what that big gaping hole on its side is for.


  1. Walt - your slimy creature is more colorful than mine - you might like to explain that to your readers. Great pics as usual.

  2. You should have been wearing a red shirt while writing your blog in order to be coordinated with it. A "limace" in French slang is a ...shirt!

  3. Didn't have time to finish typing my initials and it was gone!

  4. Did you know that slowly swallowing one of these creatures can cure a bad cough? That's why they are used to make cough medicine? :) Martine

  5. Oh, heavens, Martine! Who wouldn't prefer a cough to swallowing (slowly!?!?) a slug! Yuck! :))


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  7. I never heard of a red/orange slug before. That hole is kinda gross.

  8. If you could run your fingers along my arm right now you'd feel my goosebumps. I hate creepy crawlies!!

  9. Google is great- I don't know how they do it, but those kids who invented google made us all smarter.

  10. Very interesting Walt. Evelyn you are so right. The Google kids are really smart (and are making us smarter too).

  11. Prettier than a banana slug!

    Verification word is "goole." How appropriate.

  12. It might be a pretty colour but it's still a slug. Yuk.

  13. Martine, swallowing the slug might stop your coughing, but what stops the vomiting?

  14. Ken, I've never tried it, and I'm not ready to do so! :)) But these remedies/legends? are part of the Old Continent's heritage! As I said, I wouldn't try it ... but I'm sure that there are lots of people who feel the same about swallowing a large raw oyster (BTW I like oysters as long as they are tiny 'belons papillons')! Martine

  15. Great photos, Walt. What is the actual size of the creature?


  16. leon, he's just that much more "fabulous." ;)

    chm, if I had, they would have seen me coming and scurried away.

    martine, I did not know that. I think I'd rather cough.

    judy, right?!

    rick, I really thought it was injured or sick, but I saw more than one like that, then I read about what it is.

    cubby, snap out of it! :)

    evelyn, if we were really smarter, WE would have invented google...

    nadege, smarter, or more gullible...

    chris, just a different shade.

    jean, yup. Still a slug. But they're good for the woods.

    bettyann, it's about 4 inches long, but I see them shorter and longer.

  17. The orange slugs can be huge. I saw about 20 of them, from 2 to 6 inches long, on my afternoon walk with the dog two days ago.


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