The Life and Times of a Banana Slug

image of a banana slug on a moss covered rock

I use my slime to breathe, to move and to attract water. In fact my slime absorbs 100 times its volume in water. It helps me move along the ground under the redwoods and even climb up trees. My slime is a liquid crystal that acts both like a lubricant and an adhesive. So the next time you see my glistening slime think about all the great things it does for me.

Fun Banana Slug Facts

  • Genus Ariolimax
  • Largest North American land mollusk
  • Grows up to 10 inches long
  • Lifespan is up to 7 years
  • Can move up to 6.5 inches a minute
  • Color dependent on:
    • Genetics
    • Diet
    • Environmental moisture
    • Light Exposure
    • Age
  • University of Santa Cruz mascot

Want to see these amazing creatures in action?

Below are two videos that give you an up close and personal view of our slimy forest friends.

Want to see Banana Slugs in person?

Banana slugs are native to the redwood forests of the Pacific coast in North America, and you can often see them out and about when the forest is wet. Visit our Hike, Bike and Ride page for places where you can see banana slugs in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Just remember to watch your step on the trail!

Want to learn even more?

Check out these links!


photo by Tony Danh

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The banana slug story was first published in our Mountain Echo newsletter.