Illustration for article titled Holy crap its a hot pink slug

Fluorescent and vaguely obscene-looking, this technicolor terrestrial molusk lives on Mount Kaputar, a remote mountaintop in New South Wales, Australia. It is the only place on Earth slugs like this are known to reside.


"It's a tiny island of alpine forest, hundreds of kilometres away from anything else like it," said Michael Murphy, a national parks ranger familiar with the mountain, in an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald. "The slugs, for example, are buried in the leaf mould during the day, but sometimes at night they come out in their hundreds and feed off the mould and moss on the trees. They are amazing, unreal-looking creatures."

Via SMH:

Locals had long reported seeing bizarre pink slugs after rainfall in the area, but it was only very recently that taxonomists confirmed the slugs, Triboniophorus aff. graeffei, as well as several of the snail species - which prey on other vegetarian land snails - were unique to the mountaintop.

They are a relic of the era when much of eastern Australia was damp rainforest, and probably would have long since vanished, if a volcano had not erupted at Mount Kaputar about 17 million years ago.


It bears mentioning that slugs are kind of just strange in general, regardless of their color (which, in this instance, probably has something to do with its endemism) or place of origin (looking at you, Australia) – and often astonishingly so. Case in point: seriously impressive coital technique. Also there's penis-chewing.

h/t Brian!

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