Giant, hot-pink slugs found in Australia

Giant, hot-pink slugs found in Australia

  • 35
    Shares


is home to some of the world’s most unique wildlife, from flightless birds capable of disemboweling a man to giant glow-in-dark earthworms. Now a new creature can be added to that list: large, bright pink slugs.

The existence of 8-inch fluorescent pink slugs on Mount Kaputar, a 5,000-foot peak in New South Wales, has only recently been confirmed.

Locals had long reported seeing the bizarre slugs after rainfall, but just verified that Triboniophorus aff. graeffei is unique to the mountain’s alpine forest.

“As bright pink as you can imagine, that’s how pink they are,” Michael Murphy, a ranger with the National Parks and Wildlife Service, told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

“On a good morning, you can walk around and see hundreds of them, but only in that one area.”

Scientists believe the slugs are survivors from an era when eastern Australia was home to .

The creatures probably would have died out if a volcano hadn’t erupted in the area millions of years ago.

“The result of that eruption is a high-altitude haven for invertebrates and plant species that have been isolated for millions of years, after Australia dried out and the rainforests receded,” according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

At night, the slugs crawl up trees to feed on mold and moss, and while their bright pink coloration might seem detrimental to their survival, scientists say the fluorescent hue is actually beneficial. Fallen eucalyptus leaves are red and help hide the organism from .

But giant, hot pink slugs aren’t the only strange creatures on Mount Kaputar — there are also three species of cannibal . “They’re voracious little fellas,” Murphy said of the . “They hunt around on the forest floor to pick up the slime trail of another snail, then hunt it down and gobble it up.”

A closeup of a pink . Photograph courtesy Michael Murphy/NPWS

This article was written by Laura Moss for Mother Nature Network. Lead Image: The pink slug is large for slugs, reaching about eight inches in length. Photograph courtesy Michael Murphy/NPWS.

 

Subscribe to our FREE Newsletter

 

Supertrooper

Founder and Executive Editor

Share this post with your friends

  • 35
    Shares


Facebook Comments

7
Leave a Reply

Please Login to comment
avatar
Susan Lee

I guess the bright color is the same as for those of the sea worms…to warn predators away, which works fairl well enough that there are often mimic-colored other critters. Remains to be seen if THIS color warns anything away, though!

Susan Lee

I guess the bright color is the same as for those of the sea worms…to warn predators away, which works fairl well enough that there are often mimic-colored other critters. Remains to be seen if THIS color warns anything away, though!

Cathy Mealey
Cathy Mealey

I don’t know anything about slug anatomy – what is the function of the round opening on the side of its body?

Helle Thomsen

Pink skovsnegl!

Helle Thomsen

Pink skovsnegl!

Doris Charles

A great find Pink Slugs found on Mount Kaputer at New South Wales Austalia.

Doris Charles

A great find Pink Slugs found on Mount Kaputer at New South Wales Austalia.