Banana Slug Sightings in the Forest of Big Basin State Park

Text by J. Zimmerman, Ph.D.
All photos (c) 2002-2012 Scott Peden, Photographer and Docent at Big Basin State Park, local plant expert and nature guide

Now revealed: the secret lives of banana slugs (Ariolimax dolichophallus) (which are also the exuberant mascot of the University of California Santa Cruz) in the California Redwoods Forests of the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Note that this is not A. columbianus, which is sometimes spotted brown, but the bright yellow A. dolichophallus, which (and presumably to the students' delight) lives up to its name by having a long male organ.

Banana slugs are seen every month from the Berry Creek Falls 11-mile loop trail through the redwoods of the Santa Cruz Mountains, with peaks of about 200 banana slugs in May and November.

Can you beat our records in our Slug and flower counters?

Here, at Slug Central, see some of the best and the brightest banana slugs photographed by Scott Peden from hikes on this trail. Access other wildflower and slug photos in Scott's on-line portfolio, using these instructions.

little slug The littlest and the largest slugs. (Takes a moment to download.)

slug courtship How the large slugs create the little slugs. (Marvelous photos - well worth the download time!)

slug attacking fetid adders tongue Survivalist slugs. (Take the time to download these unusual photos.)

Books on Slugs

Buy Slugs Field Guide to the Slug Explore the Secret World of Slugs and Their Kin - In Forest, Fields, and Gardens from Southeast Alaska to California, by Western Society of Malacologists, David G. Gordon.

Banana Slug: A Close Look at a Giant Forest Slug of Western North America by Alice Bryant Harper, Daniel Harper (Photographer).

See also these pages

Reports of sightings on this Trail:
January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December.

And 2001 archives: September, October, November, December.