Slug Sex

I found a couple of slugs having sex in my backyard, so of course I had to get some pics and video of them, with a surprising bonus!

On the night of Augusth 19th, 2009, I went out into my backyard to take the trash out, and noticed what appeared to be a pile of dog poo on the edge of the sandbox I’d built for my kid. That was an odd place for it (to say the least) so I went to get a closer look, and it became clear that the “pile” was moving. Upon closer inspection still, I discovered that it was a couple of ordinary slugs, writhing around each other. Well, having seen the David Attenborough clip of slugs having sex, I ran inside to grab my little digital camera (a Canon PowerShot A520).

Now, I am no David Attenborough, and my camera isn’t all that great at macro shots or in low-light situations, but it’s still pretty cool to have witnessed and recorded this. First, a decent still shot taken shortly after the slugs had extended their sexual organs:

The beginning of slug sex.

(Click for full-sized image.)

And then I started to shoot video (with a small flashlight). Note that the audio in these clips has nothing but the annoying sound of my home air-conditioning unit, so either mute the clips before starting them, or turn your volume way down.

Now it seems to me that at about 1:30 in the second clip, one of the slugs starts retracting its sex organ, and at about 2:09, we can it pull out of the tangle completely. This seemed to provoke a violent reaction from the other slug, and the two began to writhe around some more, sliding down the slime rope further until, at about 2:40 in the clip, they were resting on the ground, still tangled up. I tried to snap a couple more stills at this point, but they came out fuzzy. I did take a little more video, though:

By 0:30 in this last clip, it was clear that one slug was just slithering away, while the other was just laying where it had landed.

And that was where my interest waned, not least because the big fella pictured below smacked into the sliding-glass door behind me:

A nice annual cicada.

(Click for full-sized image.)

This sort of annual cicada comes out every year around here, and you can hear them buzzing a lot in August, but it’s fairly rare to have one come buzzing around like this one did, especially at night. My cat (watching from inside the sliding-glass door) was much more interested in the cicada than in the slugs.