Currently viewing the category: "Snails, Slugs and other Molluscs"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Beetle eating banana slug Southeast Alaska
Geographic location of the bug:  Juneau, AK
Date: 10/22/2017
Time: 02:03 PM EDT
Hi there! I see these beetles wandering the ground and on and under rotten logs all over Southeast Alaska and the rainforests of the Pacific Northwest (WA, OR, British Columbia) and I have not been able to ID them! They have these wonderful purpleish abdomens and are maybe an inch long or less. This one was found with a baby banana slug in its jaws! What is it?
How you want your letter signed:  Thanks! -Mike J

Snail Eating Ground Beetle with immature Banana Slug

Dear Mike,
Your image is gorgeous.  We have several images on our site of Snail Hunters or Snail Eating Ground Beetles in the genus
Scaphinotus, but your image is the only one showing its preferred prey.  According to BugGuide:  “55 spp. in 9 subgenera total, all in our area.”  Several species are known from Alaska, including Scaphinotus angusticollis which is pictured on BugGuide and Scaphinotus marginatus which is also pictured on BugGuide.  Both species look very similar to your individual and we are not confident enough to provide an exact species identification for you.  According to Bugs of the Month:  “Scaphinotus angusticollis is large (satisfyingly so) and black, with a beauteous purple or greenish sheen in sunlight. The thorax is peculiarly shaped, turned up at the outer edges (a bit like a satellite dish), the legs are quite long and slender and the head is distinctly narrow and elongate. Truly the Afghan hound of the carabid world. The narrow head is an adaptation to eating snails from the shell. Now there are shelled snails in forests around these parts, but with forest clearing and the introduction of non-native pests, shelled snails are less frequent and slugs abound.”

Wow thank you for the thorough reply! They really are quite beautiful, and now I know that the beetles I see eating snails and on the ground are snail eating ground beetles 🙂 You are right, those two species are nearly identical, I guess if I was on the spotI would tell someone it was Angusticolus.

Thanks again!
Stay Curious

Mike Justa
Wildlife Naturalist
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Small Clear Blobby Gobs
Geographic location of the bug:  British Columbia, Canada
Date: 10/04/2017
Time: 05:16 PM EDT
Dear Bugman,
I found these little group of clear globby things on some potted soil under another pot of soil I had placed there weeks before.  I assume they are larvae of some sort but there were no markings that I could see indicative of what they were.  Do you know?
How you want your letter signed:  Bugs in BC

Slug Eggs

Our money is on these being Slug Eggs based on this BugGuide posting.

Eww!  Thank you!  My daughter is happy!
Tracy

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Very large slug or snail?
Location: Toronto, canada
August 4, 2016 4:09 pm
can you please identify what this is….
Signature: Michelle

Leopard Slug

Leopard Slug

Dear Michelle,
We are pretty confident this is a Leopard Slug,
Limax maximus, and according to the article “Giant slugs slither into Saint John” on CBC News:  “Donald McAlpine, research curator of zoology at the New Brunswick Museum in Saint John, said the giant slugs are commonly known as the giant spotted leopard slug because of their markings.  ‘These are by far the largest slug in this region, probably one of the largest, if not the largest slug in Canada,’ McAlpine said.  McAlpine said the slugs thrive in damp, dark places.”  According to the Fairfax County Public Schools site:  “Leopard Slugs were introduced to America, but are now common. They grow to four inches. They are usually grayish yellow with black spots or bands. Often they are wrinkled.”  According to The Living World of Molluscs:  “The leopard slug is a commensal species, which, apart from its habitats in forests, often may be found in cellars and in cultivated areas. While its original home was in Southern and Western Europe, today it not only occurs over nearly all of Europe, but also has been introduced Overseas with food transports.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Albino Slug?
Location: Virginia
May 26, 2016 10:18 pm
I took a picture of a white slug this morning on my walkway……is it an Albino Slug or someone suggested it was a Ghost Slug, but what I’ve read, they live in Europe and I’m in Virginia.
Signature: Susan Myers

White Slug

White Slug

Dear Susan,
There is not enough detail in your image to check off the characteristics of the Ghost Slug, a species found in Europe.  We just posted another request for the identification of a White Slug found in Maryland, and we concluded it was not a Ghost Slug.  We will be postdating your request to go live while we are away from the office in June.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Pink slug looking
Location: Southeast Florida
May 31, 2016 5:22 pm
What is this
Signature: Scared

Eggs of an Apple Snail

Eggs of an Apple Snail

Dear Scared,
These are the Eggs of an Apple Snail which we identified on Nature Time.  According to the Apple Snail Website:  “It is remarkable how visible the egg clutches of many apple snail species are. The pinkish to reddish eggs are attached on the contrasting green vegetation submerging from the water (in the genus Pomacea). This makes them visually inconspicuous from many meters away for predators. This suggests a possible warning function for unpalatability. Field evidence of this unpalatability is provided by the fact that almost all animals foraging in habitats where the apple snails live, ignore these eggs: from fish to birds, they all leave them alone. Also when apple snail eggs are offered to captive predators, they often try to eat them at first, but refuse them after repeated feeding.”  According to My Florida Backyard:  “Apple snails (family Ampullariidae) are freshwater snails that are able to survive both on water and on land. By laying their eggs above the water line, apple snails protect the eggs from predation by fish and other water dwellers.”  

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Snail eating millipede
Location: Harpers Ferry, WV
May 23, 2016 5:24 pm
I thought you guys might like the picture I took this morning of a snail eating a millipede. Enjoy!
Signature: Barb

Predatory Snail Eats Millipede

Predatory Snail Eats Millipede

Dear Barb,
There is a similar image on BugGuide, but we think yours has more attractive subjects.  We don’t know if this is a native Snail or an introduced species.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination