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Triboniophorus graeffei Humbert, 1863 ATHORACOPHORIDAE Red Triangle Slug

Red Triangle Slug spotted in top of palm tree

During the big wet of January 2011 in Brisbane this Red Triangle Slug was spotted in the very top of a palm tree.

It was about 5 metres above ground.

Red Triangle Slug in a Palm Tree
Arboreal Red Triangle

The slugs that started it all

In the picture you will see two very handsome native Red-Triangle Slugs in a garden in The Gap after recent rain. They appear to be "getting it on". Slugs are hermaphrodites, having both female and male reproductive organs. Once a slug has located a mate, they encircle each other and sperm is exchanged through their protruded genitalia. A few days later the slugs lay around 30 eggs into a hole in the ground, or beneath the cover of an object such as a fallen log. This particular pair of slugs are examples of our largest slug, the Red-Triangle Slug Triboniophorus graeffei. It is quite common in the garden and an indicator of good quality habitat with plenty of moisture. Unlike naughty garden slugs, the Red Triangle is a beneficial native animal and is not a threat to your garden plants. It eats mostly algae. Some enterprising naturalists utilise Red Triangle Slugs in their bathrooms to eat the mould that grows on bathroom walls. They can grow up to 140mm, which is pretty big for a slug, but very small for a Diprotodon. Slugs have two tentacles and a breathing pore on the back. Diprotodons do not have these. And besides, Diprotodons are extinct. Before Red Triangle Slugs become extinct, why not see if you can find some in your garden or in your new bushcare site?

Red Triangle Slug

From Dee (1)

Thank you for greening our embankements along the creeks from The Gap to Newmarket, where I cycle. Further to your article in the "Western Echo", I too have attached photos of my slug with the triangular orange symbol on its back, which was in my backyard on Tuckeroo Trees at The Gap, in close proximity to my watertank and the creek. I always wondered whether I would find information about it. I don't think I would remember Triboniophorus graeffei. Keep up the good work, propogating the native shrubs at the native nursery off Paten road near the Girl Guides hut.

Red Triangle Slug
Photo: Dee

From Dee (2)

Red Triangle Slug
Photo: Dee