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.



On Biology and Habits
...Thin, more viscous mucus coats the animal laterally, and thicker mucus is secreted along the length of the slug—facilitating wave like contractions of the foot that propel the animal forward. Finally, vile-tasting mucus deters predation. All this mucus prevents the slug from dying from dehydration, and the slugs follow others’ mucus trails in order to mate (or predate)...
... high assimilation rates might result from abundant enzymes in slug digestive systems: amylase, invertase, cellulase, xylanase, and chitinase... slug threatens lilies and orchids...
... A recent study further explored Arion ater’s gut microbiome and discovered the black slug to have far more bacteria within its gut than did neighboring...
...its mating with the non-native (at northern latitudes) pest species Arion vulgaris (or Spanish slug) has resulted in a more resilient hybrid exhibiting increased tolerance to cold...
... Arion ater’s biology awarded it its highest risk factor...
...When picked up or touched, the black slug will contract to a hemispherical shape and begin to rock from side to side. This defensive behavior confuses predators, and is unique in the Arionidae family...
...Slugs are common agricultural and horticultural pests. They consume abundant vegetative matter, especially seedlings. Additionally, many people find slugs to be unsightly...

...natural predators, including the hedgehog, badger, shrew, mole, mouse, frog, toad, snake, carnivorous beetle, and some birds...
...Traps are also effective. Commercial traps can be used, or homemade traps can be made using beer. Fences can be used to protect small areas and can be commercial (often electrical)...
...Arion Ater was used as grease to lubricate wooden axle-trees or carts in Sweden.[23] This use is documented since at least the 18th century...
...In recent years, as its dominance has increased, it has been nicknamed "killer slug", perhaps due to its tendency to eat dead or weaker individuals of the species...
By the Black Arion is nothing sacred!
-All from

According to this, mucous is a liquid crystalline structure that can both be a lubricant and an adhesive. Which is cool.
This is an abstract about Swedish slug lubricant. I never want to see or hear of this again.


On sex and reproduction:

This article on slugs has WAY to many mentions of sex it it already, but OH FUCK LOOK AT THAT noooooooooo

...The vas deferens connects the spermoviduct to the epiphallus. The epiphallus then opens to the genital atrium... *(see above "copulation is stimulating")
...Latin: ligula ‎(“strap, spoon”), a variant of lingula ‘small tongue-shaped object’, itself partly derived from lingere ‘lick’ and partly a diminutive of lingua ‘tongue’....
 ...Finally, the atrium opens through the genital pore. The genital pore is located on the animal slightly behind and below the right upper tentacle on the head....
This is how caterpillars and some leeches and larvae combine to move faster and move over large obstacles. No slugs I could find but it is definite nightmare fuel. Shoggoths, be aware, not afraid.
The sciencey word for species that reproduce fast and spawn in large groups is "Gregarious" which is weird,

"Great Grey Slug, Limax Maximus" What the hell is going on.

Bio-Meat from the Manga Bio-meat. Technically they are not slugs but out of control biosustainable garbage consuming meat animals. It nicely examplifies the body-horror of carnivorous slugs.

D&D Slugs are goofy bastards with a preoccupation with tongues and acid.

Wait til I start raving about aggressive bear-slugs sporting armored mantles of grit, genital pores and an appetite for casual sex, fratricide and raw meat.
Personally I would introduce them as swarms of foot-long beasties rather than dumb lumbering giants, even "perfectly harmless" dungeon fauna unless provoked by flesh or erotic acts. Imagine being consumed by a seething mess of slick lobsters.

Perhaps a queen or a Jabba the Hutt sized beast inhabits the depths, involved in idiotic subterranean politicks with other petty and spiteful slug LadyLords. 

Lots of rude letters, passionate courtship and back-stabbing followed by feasting.
Typically colour distinct baronies send regular missives via small slugs, red, ivory, yellow, black and leopard. Adventurers may happen upon well trod slime trails tracing the networks of intrigue and be beseeched to lend a hand or a sword in one matter or another.  
All their bizzare sexual biology seems ridiculous when they are hermaphroditic so, naturally, it can only be present for amusement and leverage.
They are constantly changing gender and temperament to maintain their passionate court dialogue and have no interest outside their closed social cloister.
by Casey Girard apparently
Yes, salt still works. Tears moreso. A great and beastly weapon, but rare in wet places such as the Arion Lords inhabit. Mammals are found to be a quaint source of tears to be milked and thrown like vitriol at ones bitterest enemies. 

No comments:

Post a Comment