Banana Slug: Our S(ub)lime Northwest Mascot


The Pacific Northwest has, it seems, zillions of slugs. Their mighty jaws chew through flower gardens like Godzilla rampaging through Tokyo. They are dark brown or black—and they were introduced from the outside, interlopers (like the gray squirrels that have overtaken the Douglas squirrels’ domain here), the European red and black slugs. Our native species is the banana slug, which reportedly prefers to eat the seedlings of non-native trees. How can a Northwesterner not love them? They’re not so common anymore, but occasionally you can see them out in the wild. I saw this one today on a trail in O. O. Denny Park in Kirkland.