Slug Stock Video Footage


The external anatomy of a slug includes the following: Tentacles Like other pulmonate land gastropods, the majority of land slugs have two pairs of 'feelers' or tentacles on their head. The upper pair is light sensing and has eyespots at the ends, while the lower pair provides the sense of smell. Both pairs are retractable. Mantle On top of the slug, behind the head, is the saddle-shaped mantle, and under this are the genital opening and anus. On one side (almost always the right hand side) of the mantle is a respiratory opening, which is easy to see when open, but difficult to see when closed. This opening is known as the pneumostome. Tail The part of a slug behind the mantle is called the 'tail'. Keel Some species of slugs, for example Tandonia budapestensis, have a prominent ridge running over their back along the middle of the tail (sometimes along the whole tail, sometimes only the final part). This ridge is called a 'keel'. Foot The bottom side of a slug, which is flat, is called the 'foot'. Like almost all gastropods, a slug moves by rhythmic waves of muscular contraction on the underside of its foot. It simultaneously secretes a layer of mucus that it travels on, which helps prevent damage to the foot tissues. Around the edge of the foot in some slugs is a structure called the 'foot fringe'. Vestigial shell Most slugs retain a remnant of their shell, which is usually internalized. This organ generally serves as storage for calcium salts, often in conjunction wit...

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