What iconic creature is nearly synonymous with the Coastal Redwoods and the temperate rainforest of California? Why the Banana Slug, of course! While these colorful invertebrates are found all throughout the Pacific Northwest and all the way to Southeastern Alaska, they are perhaps most famous in the Santa Cruz area.
These crucial detritivores feast primarily on dead plant materials and occasional animal droppings on the forest floors. They can move at a breakneck pace of 6 inches per minute and can grow up to nearly 10 inches long in favorable conditions. Despite their appearance as an easy prey item, many animals know to leave these yellow critters alone. Their slimes helps to prevent dehydration, aids in their movement, and contains numbing chemicals that deter any potential predators.
Find our Banana Slugs in the exhibit hall during our invertebrate-focused programs or at your local redwoods forests!