What Do Slugs Eat? Slugs are classified as gastropod mollusks, the same category as snails. The main factor that distinguishes a slug from a snail is the fact that they lack an external hard shell.
Slugs are diverse feeders, and their diet differs depending on their types. In general, they will tend to feed on plant matter or fungi, while others are predators feeding on different small organisms.
Table of Contents
- What do Slugs Eat?
- Slugs Diet by Types
- How Do Slugs Hunt?
- When Do Slugs Eat?
- How Often Do Slugs Eat?
- What Eats Slugs?
- Where do Slugs fit in the Animal Food Chain?
- Key References
What do Slugs Eat?
|Type of Slug||Diet|
|Glossodoris atromarginata (Doriprismatica atromarginata)||Marine invertebrates|
|Celtic Sea-slug (Onchidella celtica)||Small algae|
|Ocean Beach Slug||Algae and tube worms.|
|Banana Slug (Ariolimax californicus)||Dead plants, leaves, animal droppings, and fungi|
|Black Slug (Arion ater)||Plants, fungi, worms, decaying vegetation, feces, and insects.|
|Leopard Slug (Limax maximus)||Fungi, infected plants, and other slugs (Cannibalistic)|
Slugs Diet by Types
Gastropods, especially of the category of slugs and snails, are the most abundant. Of the 6 orders of Pulmonata (Pulmonates), 2 orders comprise solely of slugs, which confirms that many slug species have been described.
This section will sample out a few slugs considered under the families Soleolifera and Onchidiacea (containing land and sea slugs).
What Does Dark-margined Glossodoris Eat?
Dark-margined Glossodoris diet constitutes of marine invertebrates.
- The Glossodoris atromarginata is a sea slug native to the Indian and Pacific oceans.
- It is distinct because of the dark band that runs along its dorsal midline, which is evident thanks to its body’s white- cream hue.
- Dark-margined Glossodoris inhabits tropical marine waters.
What Do Celtic Sea-slugs Eat?
Celtic sea slug’s diet comprises of small algae.
- The Celtic Sea-slug is considered as a marine pulmonate.
- This slug inhabits exposed rocks, especially those found along sandy shores.
What Do Ocean Beach Slugs Eat?
Ocean beach slug consumes an omnivorous diet consisting of algae and tube worms.
- This sea slug has a green-brown hue, is oval, and is lined with warty lumps on its body.
- The ocean beach slug is a sea slug that is commonly found in crevices and intertidal rock reefs.
- Ocean sea slugs are widely distributed in the coasts of New Zealand and Australia.
What Do Banana Slugs Eat?
Banana slugs mainly feed on a herbivorous diet that constitutes of dead plants, leaves, animal droppings, and fungi.
- The Banana slug gets its name from its bright yellow coloration.
- The banana slug can easily be found along the Pacific coast.
- Banana slug has a dense distribution in California.
- The banana slug inhabits forest floors, especially in forests found in the Pacific North West.
What Do Black Slugs Eat?
The black slug mainly feeds on plants and fungi and at times supplements its diet by consuming worms, decaying vegetation, feces, and insects.
- This type of slug takes on an orange hue when it is newly hatched and later takes on a black coloration hence its name.
- The black slug is strictly terrestrial with a preference for inhabiting moist, cold soils, and Savannah/vegetation.
What Do Leopard Slugs Eat?
Leopard slug feeds on fungi and infected plants. The leopard slug can also consume other slugs – thus cannibalistic.
- This slug is also referred to as the Great Grey slug.
- As the name suggests, this type of slug is notable for its uniquely marked skin.
- This slug inhabits parks, wooded areas, gardens, and cellars.
How Do Slugs Hunt?
Predator slugs have a dynamic hunting strategy.
- When looking at the example of a sea slug referred to as the Melibe Viridis, this organism has a sizeable balloon-like sac positioned in front of its body.
- This sac comes in handy to catch crustacean prey by engulfing it like a net.
- For carnivorous terrestrial slugs, following a slime trail is an effective hunting strategy.
When Do Slugs Eat?
Slugs are mostly nocturnal, and they will tend to feed at night. They have a preference for dark, cold, and moist hiding areas during the day so that their skins do not dry out.
How Often Do Slugs Eat?
How often slugs eat depends on several factors, including the type of slug. For instance, the black slug (Arion ater) has been noted by researchers to spend most of its time eating.
What Eats Slugs?
Where do Slugs fit in the Animal Food Chain?
Slugs are essential to the animal food chain.
- As a result, they are an essential food source for organisms in the wild.
- They also prevent overpopulation of the small invertebrates and other organisms that the carnivorous/omnivorous slug species consume.
- The indication of this is that slugs are a representation of a healthy ecosystem.
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- “Notes on the natural history of the celtic sea-slug, Onchidella celtica (Cuvier, 1817). – Sea-Nature Studies”. Accessed August 18, 2019. Link.
- “MarLIN – The Marine Life Information Network – Celtic sea slug (Onchidella celtica)”. Accessed August 18, 2019. Link.
- “Onchidella patelloides | Atlas of Living Australia”. Accessed August 18, 2019. Link.
- “ADW: Ariolimax columbianus: INFORMATION”. Accessed August 18, 2019. Link.
- “ADW: Arion ater: INFORMATION”. Accessed August 18, 2019. Link.
- “How to identify: the Leopard Slug | OPAL”. Accessed August 18, 2019. Link.
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- “Carnivorous Sea Slug Sucks Up Prey in Mesmerizing Video | Live Science”. Accessed August 18, 2019. Link.
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