The Slimy Molluscs


Molluscs are the second largest Phylum in the Animal Kingdom. How do I know that?

Because I am studying Organic Horticulture and our last assignment was studying Slugs and Snails.slug sketch


Why do I need to know about Slugs & Snails?

So that I realise that they live in the dark and wet parts of the world, the shady cracks under stones and leaves, basically, in the Sludge.

The hint is in the name. Onomatopoeia and assonance never worked so well. Words that begin with Sl and even better, SLu, bring to mind oozing wetness such as we have never felt since we were children experimenting in the garden, before our parents spotted us. The joy of mud cakes as a child. We need to learn textures when we are children because we sure as H–ll are not going to get down and dirty when we are grown up.

So why does a horticulturalist need to know where a slug thrives? Apologies to all vegan out there, but it is so we can exterminate them. In a situation where we cannot use pesticides or anything that will harm other animals or birds, we have to use methods such as drowning them in beer, squishing them or poisoning them with iron phosphate.

Knowing that they will multiply and come forth when it rains gives us the tipoff to bring out our arsenal of weaponry to the garden at the appropriate moment. It is the cabbages or them and quite often it is them who survive leaving the poor brassica looking like a skeleton.

We also learn that their sense of smell is keen but their eyes, which are at the top of two revolving tentacles sticking up off their head, is poor. These tentacles are also used to smell. They like the smell of beer. How does a beer loving, cabbage eating, revolving tentacled animal end up living in sludge? Our is not to understand the ways of nature. Ours is to know that some slugs produce a calcium enriched mucus slime that forms a shell. they are called snails or escargots, the French delicacy. This occurs mostly in the city where slugs can eat more eggshells for calcium.

So even a Gollum like creature can perform minor miracles in its nether kingdom of sludge!











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