BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

24 September 2014
Inside Out: Surprising Stories, Familiar Places

BBC Homepage
Inside Out
East Midlands
North East
North West
South East
South West
West Midlands
Yorks & Lincs
Go to BBC1 programmes page (image: BBC1 logo)

Contact Us

   Coming Up : Inside Out - East: Friday January 26, 2007
Slug sexscapades - Leopard Slugs reproducing


Slugs have got to be the most hated creatures on the planet.

These slimy creatures are viewed by most of us as pests and we feel no guilt in employing any method to destroy them.

But do they deserve their reputation? Or are they just misunderstood?

Garth Coupland is a slug enthusiast who thinks we should learn to hug the slug.

He loves them and their habitats. Old damp underpasses and patches of wet mossy grass at car lay-bys are his favourite locations.

Love your slugs

Garth tries to persuade die hard gardeners not to kill the slugs in their gardens.

He offers alternative ways of controlling them.

Amorous creatures - two slugs entwined

Garth suggests avoiding using slug pellets that make a garden into a 'poisoned desert'.

His alternative is nothing more than old salad.

The slugs prefer the rotten leaves and are distracted from any precious plants.

Garth Coupland also rescues a Large Black Slug, Arion ater.

He points out, not only its innocence in the crimes against plants, but the real benefits that this creature brings to his garden.

Slugs also eat dog and cat poo.

Slug encounters

We also go in search of the most exciting slug encounter in Garth’s informed opinion - the bizarre and twisted sex life of the Leopard Slug.

But we have to be patient - it only happens on one night a year around two in the morning and it’s not easy finding them.

Slug sex
Exploding passion - two Leopard Slugs get frisky!

Only after a second year, of torchlight searching, did we find a couple of Leopard Slugs in the mood.

And they didn’t disappoint.

On a tree trunk they circle each other forming a pad of slime.

They both entwine, dropping together from a bungee rope of mucus.

Hanging there, upside down their genitalia explode out of their heads.

These also entwine and develop into a throbbing flower-like structure.

Inside they exchange sperm - the culmination of a beautiful mating ritual.

Links relating to this story:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites

Inside Out Archive

Inside Out: East
View our story archive to see articles from previous series.

BBC Where I Live

Find local news, entertainment, debate and more ...

Beds, Herts & Bucks

Meet your
Inside Out
David Whiteley

David Whiteley
your local Inside Out presenter.

Contact us
Contact the East team with the issues that affect you.

Free email updates

Keep in touch and receive your free and informative Inside Out updates.

Stem cell treatment

The East of England is pioneering the use of stem cell treatment for race horses.

Three-quarters get tendon injuries in their careers.

Most either have to rest for a year or retire.

The new treatment, invented in Hertfordshire, could repair the damage using cells from the horses’ own bone marrow, and may one day lead to hope for human athletes.

Southend archive

When an Essex builder discovered a discarded box in a cellar he was clearing, he had no idea it contained a valuable piece of social history documenting Southend's past.

Dances and bands at the Kursaal in the 40s, carnival pageants and the sea front all feature.

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy