01 November 2005

Orange slugs

Often when I walk down our road with the dog, especially during humid weather and early in the morning, I see big orange slugs crossing the road.

They remind me of the banana slugs we used to see up in the Santa Cruz Mountains, south of San Francisco. I never knew there were such big slugs in France. And no, nobody eats them (that I know of).

Here's the road. It winds down into the Cher river valley from our hamlet, La Renaudière.

La rue de la Renaudière, near Saint-Aignan-sur-Cher


  1. What a beautiful slug! Gorgeous color. I hope you didn't have to get down on your hands and knees to get such a closeup, but, if you did, it was worth it! The road is beautiful, too.

  2. Well I did have to get down on my knees on the road. Fortunately, there is virtually no traffic so it wasn't too dangerous.

  3. These two pictures are wonderful! The color of the orange slug against the gray road is extraordinary. And the road looks peaceful and intriguing at the same time -- wish I was there to discover what's around the bend!

  4. Amy, we'd love it if you could come visit. When were you last in France? We are having spectacular weather right now, and are getting the yard and garden all cleaned up for the winter.

  5. We were impressed by seeing lots of those slugs over in the "Foret d'Amboise back in 2002. Here's some scientific info:
    Limace Rouge (Arion rufus)

    La limace rouge est un mollusque gastéropode terrestre proche des escargots, mais qui ne possède aucune coquille. Elle se rencontre dans toute l'Europe. Très commune, elle vit dans les prairies et les jardins, où l'on redoute sa voracité. Elle est herbivore, mais elle peut toutefois se nourrir de cadavres d'animaux. Elle peut endommager considérablement les cultures et elle est particulièrement nuisible dans les serres et les cultures maraîchères. Les limaces craignent la sécheresse, alors elles ne sont actives que lorsque qu'il fait frais. Dès qu'elles sentent la fraîcheur de la nuit, elles partent en quête de nourriture.

    La limace rouge pond un très grand nombre d'oeufs, groupés par dizaines dans des sortes d'enveloppes que l'on trouve fréquemment le long des murs de jardins. Au bout de quelques semaines, les jeunes limaces sortent de l'oeuf et elles atteignent leur taille adulte au bout de 6 à 7 mois.

  6. Hello Bill Lawyer,

    That's great information. I had never looked these slugs up to find out more about them. Luckily, we don't ever see any of them in our vegetable garden. I think it might be too dry for them up here on top of the ridge. They seem to live down the hill, in the woods. I hope they stay down there, since the blurb you posted says they are voracious eaters. We don't need the competition!


  7. I hadn't looked at these pics when I posted the previous comment! This limace rouge, never mind its being a pest, is incredibly good-looking!
    Those photos are incredible!

  8. We saw many of these big orange slugs in a field in Ste Marie de Re on the island L'ile de Re where my mother-in-law lives. They were intent on devouring the dry cat food we left for a kitten -- we subsequently brought the kitten home to the USA where it lived with us for 15 years.


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