Disappearing slug?

Asked January 24, 2020, 1:26 PM EST

My kids and I were learning about habitat so we made a lovely habitat for a slug from our garden (intending to release after a week). We included fresh soil, bark and rocks for cover, fresh leaves for food, and sprayed water on it daily. The slug seemed to be doing fine and then one morning we discovered that the slug had disappeared! There was no slime trail indicating that it has escaped? Can you help me explain this phenomena?

Snohomish County Washington

3 Responses

Hi--interesting experiment with your kids. Most of us are trying to get rid of them (not the kids--the slugs!)! I would assume that it could get out if it wanted to, right? Slime trail or no, chances are it was doing what slugs do--out wandering around looking for fresh stuff in the cold and rain--their favorite things, I think. Captivity, no mater how benign, is not a natural state. Also, a variety of wildlife eat slugs--small birds, beetles and their larvae, newts, to name a few. Maybe one of them was appreciative of the slug buffet you offered.

There was a lid with small air holes so I don’t believe anything could have gotten in to eat it unless it was in there when we started. These were rather large leopard slugs too.

I'm afraid I have no answer for you then. Unless someone opened it up and released them, or, like you said, something already in there ate it. Did you poke the the detritus to see? Unsolved mystery!