A slug, a dandelion, a camera
June 11, 2017 1:42 PM   Subscribe

For your viewing pleasure: time lapse video of a slug eating a dandelion. 30 minutes in 30 seconds, from Canadian photographer R. Jeanette Martin.
posted by jokeefe (26 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
Better quality video can be viewed on Facebook.
posted by jokeefe at 1:44 PM on June 11

That bastards kin are massacring our garden this year. I'm vegan and animal rights sympathizer and whatnot, but these critters sure are trying my patience. My SO is less forgiving though, so I hear decapitating snick-snick's accompanied by curses most days.

Nice time-lapse though.
posted by monocultured at 1:57 PM on June 11 [1 favorite]

beautiful! thank you! I appreciate what slugs do for our environment.
posted by bananaskin at 2:10 PM on June 11

The sped up nature of the video gives the slug a canine quality, exemplified best when he stops before finishing the dandelion, turns around as if to say "Oooh! A Shiny Thing!" and then scampers off.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 2:17 PM on June 11 [2 favorites]

Today I learned slugs have a breathing hole, or pneumostome. Also that is a huge slug. Also it helps me appreciate slugs more if I think about them just being snails without shells.
posted by limeonaire at 2:18 PM on June 11 [4 favorites]

Great, so that's what I look like eating a salad.

The video is also fun if you slow it down to half or quarter speed. Nom nom nom nom.
posted by loquacious at 2:24 PM on June 11

My slugs have chosen to ignore the plentiful dandelions, and have chosen to eat my tomatoes instead. All I can hope for now, is that they spread tomatoes seeds like like little slimy Johnny appleseeds. The bunnies have spread wild carrots, the basil and mint are everywhere. My yard is a crazy vegetables buffet for the fauna.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 2:42 PM on June 11 [2 favorites]

A slug eating a dandelion is fast and bulbous.
posted by davebush at 3:10 PM on June 11 [2 favorites]

Thank you for googling that limeonaire. I was wondering the same thing.
posted by LizBoBiz at 3:36 PM on June 11 [2 favorites]

I'd like you all to appreciate the size of those slugs, and imagine for a moment what it would feel like if you stepped on one with bare feet. My years living in the west coast rain forest gave me a sandal wearing habit for even the quickest dash out to the curb with the morning trash.
posted by Mary Ellen Carter at 4:09 PM on June 11 [11 favorites]

That bastards kin are massacring our garden this year.

Eggshells, coffee grounds, or wood ash--they all make good barriers. Sand, too, I imagine.

People swear by saucers filled with beer and throwing out bloated, dead, drunk slugs...but, uh, that sort of offends the prettiness of what a garden should do....eggshells are my go-to. I keep a little bucket to throw the shells into every time I use an egg, and when I'm in the mood crunch them up and scatter them around the hostas.

The voles, on the other hand....
posted by A Terrible Llama at 4:22 PM on June 11

Well, now I know how my entire row of baby broccoli plants mysteriously gets demolished in one night. (My local assassins are snails not slugs, but man do they like plants in the cole family.)
posted by lemonade at 5:36 PM on June 11 [1 favorite]

As someone whose garden is on the third floor porch, I find slugs adorable.
posted by pangolin party at 5:39 PM on June 11 [3 favorites]


[okay maybe I came in a bit late there....nice video though]
posted by uosuaq at 7:04 PM on June 11 [1 favorite]

I am disappointed that he only ate half the dandelion.
posted by jacquilynne at 7:30 PM on June 11 [3 favorites]

reminds me to get some tiab guls in the garden.
posted by ovvl at 8:05 PM on June 11

Indian Runner Ducks are great for slug control, and they are so fun to watch.

But then you need something to control the ducks.

In college I worked in a small urban agriculture project. We read that snails and slugs will not cross over a copper strip or wire. It works most of the time, but the 1 in 100 slug determined enough to crawl over the copper strip will still eat all your tomatoes.

I came up with the idea of installing parallel copper and zinc strips, a few millimeters apart. The theory being that slugs would touch both strips, their moist briny bodies would act as an electrolyte, and this would create a slug battery.

We had to wait for hours and hours until one snail touched both strips. It quickly contracted it's body into an almost spherical shape, did a 180 turn, and left as fast as it could.

I think it went back to slug HQ and started their own Manhattan Project, because two weeks later they apparently developed flight and could be found happily eating the tomatoes, with no mucus trails to be found crossing the metal strips.
posted by Dr. Curare at 10:35 PM on June 11 [9 favorites]

The sped up nature of the video gives the slug a canine quality,
The video is also fun if you slow it down to half or quarter speed.

I found myself at the hard intersection of these two. A quarter speed gives a better sense of the animal's characteristics than we can observe with our normal impatience. Like, weirdly so: its not some thing molluscing about, its this creature as about its business as any other. Just not with any great speed.

Starfish timelapse is similarly illuminating.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 10:43 PM on June 11 [3 favorites]

Just a brief warning -- if you don't like snake-like things, that starfish video is going to freak you the fuck out.
posted by jacquilynne at 10:57 PM on June 11 [1 favorite]

The voles, on the other hand....

*Sound of saucers clinking, inebriated singing in volish*
posted by sebastienbailard at 11:23 PM on June 11 [3 favorites]

We used just copper tape on the growing boxes this year, but yesterday we saw a guy stroll squish its way over it – lengthwise – into the strawberries. Last year I rigged 9V wiring around the boxes and that worked until the wires shorted, but I've been too lazy to do that this year.

We've pretty much given up on this year with other projects being more important, but next year I'm going whole hog with nematodes and applied voltage…
posted by monocultured at 3:02 AM on June 12

A couple of nights ago my daughter stepped on a slug. Barefoot. She's an adult, thank god, so I did not have to deal directly with the consequences, but I could not avoid thinking about how that must have felt.

So, I'm not going to watch this one—I've already had my quota of slug-exposure this summer.
posted by she's not there at 5:01 AM on June 12 [1 favorite]

They are by far the worst mollusc.
posted by bracems at 11:13 AM on June 12 [1 favorite]

Oregon banana slugs can kill--they are large enough to gross a human out of existence.

Ever salted a slug? This is probably the single most disgusting thing ever, anywhere, and only for those with a strong stomach and a serious vendetta against slugs.
posted by kinnakeet at 6:10 PM on June 12 [2 favorites]

They are by far the worst mollusc.

Molluscs aren't cute, like crustaceans.
posted by sebastienbailard at 7:16 PM on June 12 [1 favorite]

I took a picture of a giganto spotted slug on some typing paper. It was an unusually rainy year in the Northern Desert. This slug was fascinating and vaguely creepy. I carried it on the paper to the compost heap and let it loose. I did not have the heart to kill it. I'm sure there's things out there that eat them. I can't imagine what.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 8:33 PM on June 12

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