Someone out there must love slugs, those slimy creatures that chomp their way through my lettuce. Now we hear of the invasion of giant Spanish slugs. I’d like to say there’s a certain machismo to this but slugs of course are hermaphrodites, just one of their fascinating features once you get to know them. If you believed in reincarnation though you’d have to wonder what kind of faux-pas you’d have to commit to come back as a slug.
|The slug from Spain,
just one on the list of alien species
invading our shores.
If you saw it you’d scream,
a slithery monster from the worst of your dreams.
Like the mythical Slivers
it’ll give you the shivers,
large and voracious
it’s aggressive, rapacious
cutting swathes through the land.
As large as your hand,
12th October 2013 – headline from the Guardian
Notes: “Can science stop invasion of the giant killer slugs?” The gardens and fields of Britain were saved from a grim invasion this spring. Thanks to the sharp, late frosts of May, millions of giant Spanish slugs – which threatened to devastate plants across the country – were killed. Never has so much been owed to such a poor spring. But now experts fear that Arion vulgaris – which was first spotted in East Anglia a year ago – may soon make an unwelcome return to our shores. The Spanish slug is a voracious predator that can survive eating many of the slug pellets that are supposed to kill them. It eats crops spared by our native slugs, tolerates drier conditions, reproduces in greater numbers and even eats dead animals and excrement. Experts fear that the Spanish slug could breed with native varieties to form a hybrid combining the worst of the Spanish slug with tolerance to frosts and cold from British species.
- Can science stop invasion of the giant killer slugs? (theguardian.com)
- Public asked to track slug invasion (bbc.co.uk)