Tree Climbing Slug.

9th November 2012: During daylight hours, I see very few insects at this time of the year. During the dark evenings though, it is very different; there are many kinds of crawling and slithering creatures making their way up tree trunks. There is a surprising number of slugs climbing trees at the moment.

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9 Responses to Tree Climbing Slug.

  1. victoriaaphotography says:

    Wonderful shot – love the capture of how moist the slug is.


  2. James Corner says:

    Slugs probably climb trees all the time but I have never seen this before. I’m going to have to keep my eyes open for this in future. I’ll not rest until I’ve seen my first “arboreal slug” 🙂


    • mike585 says:

      I dare say that slugs have climbed trees for a very long time. It might actualy be a myth that they live on the ground. It might also be the time of year for slug climbing. I have only seen slugs climbing oak trees. It might be that they use the very rough bark structure to anchor themselves when they rest; in fact, the slug in my image is using a crevice as an anchor.

      Perhaps, like some humans, tree climbing is a slug relaxation activity. It is also possible that there might be something up in an oak tree that the slug needs. This subject needs further investigation, James, and I am glad that you are sufficiently intrigued. If you discover anything important during you slug climbing watching, I would be grateful if you would inform me first and not rush off to claim all the credit for yourself. 😉


      • James Corner says:

        Don’t worry Mike, if I make any slug tree climbing related discoveries, you will will definitely get full credit. I will also invite you to be a co-author of any papers to be written. “An investigation into slug preferences and requirements in tree climbing” sounds like suitable PhD material. Do you think we could get funding? 😉


      • mike585 says:

        I am glad to hear this, James!

        If this project develops legs, funding could be a possibility. Without funding I fear the mystery will remain unsolved. Obviously, there is something significant happening here that could, potentially, influence Government policy and the outcome of Ash Dieback. The crucial factor is: What are the slugs searching for in our oak trees? Are they stockpiling something valuable out of sight amongst the branches, or is this some kind of mass slug suicide attempt brought on by acid rain? Could they be climbing to a suitable height and then jumping? We need good solid information and incontrovertible evidence to enable us to nail the culprit or culprits responsible for causing slugs to perform such unnatural feats.

        This will mean long nighttime hours wandering the woods, investigating the climbing activities of slugs. I suggest we share the workload and prepare a mutually acceptable rota. The outcome could propel us to greatness and, perhaps, fortune.

        Are you up for this, James? Do you have the drive and determination to bring this mystery to a satisfactory conclusion? 😉


  3. James Corner says:

    Fame, fortune and scientific glory sounds wonderful … but it seems quite a challenge and (just like slugs) I’m not sure I have the backbone to take it on. Wandering the woods in the dark sounds scary and long hours sounds like hard work. Do you think having a 7:30 bedtime will be a problem?

    No I might have to leave all the glory to you Mike and content myself with a cameo appearance on the TV tribute programme, explaining how I was involved in the early stages of one of the greatest of scientific discoveries. You know the type of thing, “Ten Great British Scientists: Isaac Newton; Charles Darwin; Mike …” Good luck and I look forward to reading your auto-biography. 😉


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