What’s brown and orange and slimy all over? The European Black Slug (Arion ater). The Euro Black slug is similar in size to our native banana slug and ranges in color from the distinctive brown/orange of our local specimens to true black. While not the most attractive critter in the Upper Rogue, these slugs are beneficial fellows! Unlike small “garden” slugs, the Euro Black dines on decaying plant and even fecal (*vomit*) matter (more power to them!) helping with soil fertility.
The Euro Black is a mollusk so it’s related to mussels and squid. They come equipped with two sets of tentacles on their heads, large upper ones for seeing – though they cannot see color – smaller lower ones for smell. They can retract both sets when they feel threatened, though they can re-grow lost tentacles over a 2 month period. Like banana slug slime, the Euro Black slime only gets slimier when you add water, so if you need to clean any off of walkways etc., use a dry cloth or paper towel.