banana slug


: any of a genus (Ariolimax) of large slugs native to moist forests of western North America that have a long, fusiform body and are sometimes bright yellow in color with brown or black spots
… on a pile of redwood stumps by the side of the road, we discovered banana slugs, curled-up balls of bright-yellow ooze that slowly expand to full banana size, seven inches or more, as they glide their slimy way around.Tamar Lewin, New York Times, 18 Aug. 1996
Banana slugs prefer to graze on wild plants, fallen leaves or, in rare cases, dead animals.Scott McCredie, Smithsonian, February 1989

Word History

First Known Use

1953, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of banana slug was in 1953

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Cite this Entry

“Banana slug.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 Mar. 2023.

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