The unwanted and uncalled-for sequel

This is a follow-up video to a series of still images that I took five years ago, and I realized right as I was finishing the editing that I missed the anniversary date by only a couple of days. I couldn’t have posted on the precise day anyway, because my video account has a weekly limit and I’d exceeded it with the previous offering.

And I probably shouldn’t be posting this anyway. I went out late one night, or early one morning if you like being pedantic, casually looking around with the headlamp, and happened across my subjects here. The behavior wasn’t typical, leading me to believe that something might be about to happen, so I quickly fetched the Canon T2i, video light, and mini-tripod. This took all of five minutes or less, but I missed the opening of Act One. I shot most of the rest in detail, then switched to the second pair of subjects and captured the entire sequence with them – timing was on my side in that regard, since they could have easily started while I was occupied with the first couple.

Why am I being so vague, you ask? Because it’s a lot more fun this way. Without further ado, I present the video to let you find out the hard way what I’m talking about.

The previous experience with exactly this subject can be found here, and I’m quite proud of both the title and the writing therein, which tells you far too much about me. For the record, these are leopard slugs (Limax maximus,) and yes, they’re huge. And very fond of brick too, so it’s paramount that one watches the front steps when going out at night. I have a wicked tendency to go barefoot in the summer, but these humongous bastards have almost broken me of that habit.

I have to note that I did a bit of web searching to try and determine more details about what was captured here, but didn’t turn up a lot. And I was unwilling to delve into it further because, you know, such searches are being saved, cataloged, and examined for “national security” and all that rot – I didn’t want to appear fanatical or anything. Trust me, this is all academic, detached observational kind of thing; I’m not especially motivated to pursue such subjects. No, really. But I’ll admit it’s kinda annoying to have this whole webbernets thing and then feel self-conscious about actually using it. Like, is there a better technical term for that blue thing, even though most sources call it a penis? That seems kind of sexist to me – it should be a vaginis to me, but is there a proper Latin term? And what’re those white blobs being discarded? Probably not condoms, I’m guessing…

Meanwhile, I could have sworn I posted some of these photos back when I took them, but can find no record of it either within the blog or in the published images folders, so I guess we take care of it here.

cluster of invertebrate eggs, likely leopard slug Limax maximus
Back in 2012, before my first experience with bumping sluglies, I found this cluster of eggs underneath a crate in the side yard. At this point of course, no details could be discerned at all, so I couldn’t be sure what they were.

closeup image of developing fetus through transparent eggshell, likely leopard slug Limax maximus
I checked back on them as they were developing, and despite getting really lucky with the lighting, didn’t get enough detail from the fetus to even give an idea of what they were. “Caspar” would be my best guess based on the appearance, but I don’t think ghosts are hatched from eggs – they’re probably live-born. Or dead-born. Whatever.

hatching slugs likely leopard slug Limax maximus
Not much later on, the mystery was solved to a reasonable degree, especially given the size of the eggs and the cluster thereof – there’s probably no other species that could produce the sheer mass. Each individual egg was about 5mm across, if memory serves, which doesn’t seem too significant until you sum up a few dozen; it certainly wasn’t a typical garden slug that weighed about the same as three of the eggs. So I’m pretty comfortable saying that, yes, someplace not far away there will be, if there isn’t already, a cluster or four very similar to these. Should I go looking for them? It’s your call.

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