From time to time, one of the slugs starts to shrink and become pale, despite appearing to have normal appetite and behavior. Ultimately, the slug disappears without a trace. My assumption is that this signals senescence, and the greatly reduced slug becomes food for the boisterous collection of detritivores that dwells in the Box of Slugs.
Over the past few weeks, the remaining slugs have all apparently succumbed. Although it’s a bit sad, one does not expect the little guys to live forever, especially since their ages on arrival were completely unknown. Living 5.5 months seems a bit short, but not ridiculously so. The production of a couple of clutches of eggs per slug per week for a few months may also have contributed to their demise. They appeared to have happy little slug lives, and taught us much.
There are new adults on the way from Carolina Biological, plans on the horizon for Box of Slugs II in a new location, and an upgraded culture facility (Box of Slugs 1.1) here at USG. Stay tuned for all that.