There is a giant, neon pink slug. It is only found in a single, isolated forest on an extinct volcano in Australia.
These festively colored slugs (Triboniophorus aff. graeffei) are relations of the equally quirky red triangle slug, which is also found on Mount Kaputar. They are among a number of unique species marooned 1500m above sea level on an extinct volcano near the township of Narrabri.
The slug’s huge size is a family trait says Michael, but he also puts it down to the abundant food and lack of predation in their wet 10sq.km patch of habitat.
At their largest, they reach roughly the length of a paperback book and a width of 4–6cm. It’s hoped says Michael that with their charismatic color and size, these slugs could be a bright new figurehead for the many more-dowdy threatened invertebrates.
Their damp, canopied patch, which is also home to the Kaputar hairy snail, the Kaputar cannibal snail, and a dozen other important species, is on its way to becoming Australia’s first land-snail habitat to be declared an endangered ecological community. It’s something that should bring some attention to the impact of climate change on mountain invertebrates.