Spring Brings Morning Bird Songs……..and Slugs!

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In the mornings I hear a wonderful choir of bird songs. But I have to watch where I step because of all the morning slugs! They seem to be everywhere!

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On my cooler. On the ground.

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I was curious so I Googled  “The Life Cycle of Slugs.” (You can Google anything these days.)

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That is right, I am going to give you a lesson about slugs. Land slugs are shell-less gastropod molluscs. I learned that slugs play an important part in the ecosystem by eating decaying plant material and fungi. They are also an important part of the food chain. They are eaten by reptiles, birds, mammals, amphibians and fish.

They have 2 pair of retractable tentacles. The upper pair are light sensing, and the lower pair provide a sense of smell. They move by muscular contractions, and secrete a layer of mucus to prevent damage to their tissue as they move along. (That is why they leave a slime trail.) Slugs are most active after rain because they like the moist ground. (They like morning dew also apparently.)

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They are hermaphrodites, meaning they have both male and female reproductive organs. They get together and exchange sperm. After a few days both will lay about 30 eggs in a hole in the ground, or in a covered place. (That is very efficient – they ALL lay eggs!)

So I let my slugs live in peace. They are doing their jobs, and enjoying a simple life. And some of them will be breakfast for my sweet song birds. It is The Circle of Life.

 

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