Yellow Bordered Tail Dropper Slug

Yellow Bordered Tail Dropper Slugs, Vancouver Island, BC
Yellow Bordered Tail Dropper Slugs, Vancouver Island, BC, photo by Bud Logan

The yellow bordered tail dropper slug (Prophysaon Flioatum) is a very cool-looking gastropod for sure. They are the largest tail dropper we have on Vancouver Island. When these slugs are attacked by a beetle, snake, or other predators, they have the ability to drop up to 1/3 of their tail and escape. Apparently, they produce a large amount of slime at the head area that makes these predators attack them in the tail area.

In the past, when we were out hiking, we would see very few of these slugs but over the last several years we have seen many of these on the north end of Vancouver Island. They can be found in our forests here and over most of North America. Look alongside trails in leaf and wood debris, my four-year-old grandson has an eye for seeing these wonderful creatures.

Yellow Bordered Tail Dropper Slug, Vancouver Island, BC
Yellow Bordered Tail Dropper Slug, Vancouver Island, BC, photo by Bud Logan

We have several other tail droppers on Vancouver Island, one is the scarlet back tail dropper, Generally, the scarlet back tail dropper is reddish, grey-buff along the sides,  with a cream-colored foot. Another is the blue-grey tail dropper that is found in south Vancouver Island. They can be found in a variety of moist mixed-wood forest habitats, including Garry oak, arbutus woodlands, bigleaf maple, and older douglas and grand fir stands. Look for them amongst the leaf litter.

The yellow bordered tail dropper is by far the most commonly seen tail dropper here on the island. They are fascinating little creatures.

 

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