Leopard Slugs Mating

This sequence was taken over a 15 minute period on 25 July 2009. It shows a pair of leopard slugs (Limax maximus) in the act of mating.

The slugs are ‘hermaphroditic’, that is they carry both male and female organs. It still, however, takes a pair to breed. When they are ready to mate, the slugs suspend themselves in mid-air by a length of mucus, and then entwine their bodies tightly together. The male organ then everts (emerges) from just behind the head of each slug, and together embark on a prehensile dance.

The shots here show most of the stages as they twist together and create a blue-white, semi translucent globe. Both slugs are fertilized by the process, and then disentangle before going their separate way.

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Scientific name: Limax maximus
Location: Sussex