Wednesday, December 21, 2016

PRIME CUTS: The Black Arion

One of these bastards gave me nightmares when I picked one up thinking it a seedpod a few years back. 

Colours range from Ivory, Ochre to Black according to latitude.
As big and heavy as a severed thumb. Mature at 2.5cm, Grown at 15cm. Fifteen. 
They eat meat (esp. carrion and feces) but also fungi lichen and decaying matter. 
They exhibit significantly more bacteria and enzymes in their stomachs than other slugs.
Nocturnal by choice but out on overcast days.
Their mantle looks like a dead rat dipped in tar. 
They have a fucking mantle. Like John Snow.
They do not run or hide, they rear up and arch their shoulders like a bear and try to intimidate you. This is unique in the Arionidae family.
They produce three types of mucous one of which is described as "vile" to ward off predators.
They have calciferous granules in their mantle that acts as armor or "a resilient protective structure"
.They have been found to crossbreed with northern European slugs and to have gained frost resistance. Roll for fear.
Hermaphroditic, but can self-fertilise.
Lays eggs, 5mm diameter in moss and topsoil. 
Four clutches of eggs a year in up to one hundred and fifty egg batches.
They have a genital Ligula (*see cuts) suggesting copulation is a stimulating act for them.
The "genital pore" is below the "right upper tentacle" on the head. Asymmetry.. 
They find and track mucous trails to find a mate.
Motherfuck they were first found as an invasive species in Australia, 2001. We are done for. 
The Swedish traditionally used Arion Ater as grease to lubricate wooden axles since the 18th C.

The gut microbiome of the Arion, especially the extra enzymes used to digest cellulose are being studied in bio-fuel research.

If I ever saw a pile of these shoggoth-ing towards me... i shudder to think.
According to this video footage further below they can possibly move in swarming masses oh god get me off this planet.