Spotted Leopard Slug, Giant Leopard Slug (Limax maximus)

Order: Pulmonata
Family: Limacidae
Genus: Limax
Species: maximus


This bug has been reportedly found in the following regions:

Vincent, Alabama
Bear, Delaware
Columbus, Georgia
Duluth, Georgia
Fort Benning, Georgia
Fortson, Georgia
Gainesville, Georgia
Locust Grove, Georgia
Warwick, Georgia
Boise, Idaho
Belvidere, Illinois
Bloomington, Illinois
Washington, Illinois
Bloomington, Indiana
Brazil, Indiana
Indianapolis, Indiana
Peru, Indiana
Moulton, Iowa
Melbourne, Kentucky
Havre De Grace, Maryland
Lusby, Maryland
Charlotte, Michigan
Eastpointe, Michigan
Kalamazoo, Michigan
Kalkaska, Michigan
Roseville, Michigan
Springfield, Missouri
Denville, New Jersey
Southampton, New York
Watertown, New York
West Islip, New York
Charlotte, North Carolina
Hickory, North Carolina
Jamestown, North Carolina
Pittsboro, North Carolina
Cleveland, Ohio
Zanesville, Ohio
Kellyville, Oklahoma
Salem, Oregon
Weston, Oregon
Narberth, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (2 reports)
Quakertown, Pennsylvania
West Chester, Pennsylvania
Clarksville, Tennessee
Jackson, Tennessee
Athens, Texas
Rutland, Vermont
Kalama, Washington
North Sultan, Washington
Show all

Members' Notes:


On Oct 4, 2020, Rebecca1133 from Belvidere, IL wrote:

I found this nail in my garden in Belvidere Illinois, 26 miles from Wisconsin border. It was 2 inches long. Have no idea where it came from! Maybe he came in with mulch? I was transplanting a false indigo and maybe dug him up. But he was attached to a brick. I disposed of him Immediately and has set beer out to see if there are more!


On Aug 14, 2020, LMFE from Denville, NJ wrote:

I found one of these adorable guys around 6:30am when I was outside filling my bird feeders. I am in northern NJ. He seemed to be in a bit of a pickle to I helped him on to a large wet leaf (which he happily grabbed on to) and I brought him over to a shrub bed and let him climb on to one of my Hostas. He seems content now. But, Iím worried he isnít close enough to the ground to go find a rock to burrow under. Iím going to go back outside soon to see how he is doing.


On Jul 29, 2020, Annema from West Chester, PA wrote:

Someone gave me some wood chips from their garden, and this slug was on some bark. I\'ve never seen it before in my life and was shocked by its size! Before I could fetch a container to put it in, it vanished, unfortunately. I\'m in Chester Co., PA, so please add this site to the list. Thank you!!


On Aug 29, 2019, Lapislazulite wrote:


On Feb 22, 2019, SimpleSue from Pittsburgh, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

I am pleased to find so many other gardeners had positive reactions to the Leopard Slugs, and appreciated their beauty and enjoyed their presence in their gardens, as I do.

I'v never observed Leopard Slugs eating my plants, but I have observed the small gray slugs eating plants.
If you don't want slugs in your garden you don't have to kill them- just collect them and put them out in the woods.
Leopard Slugs do eat the small gray slugs.


On Dec 14, 2018, JustLetCreaturesLive from Atlanta,
United States wrote:

I live a little south of Atlanta Ga. We have these guys all over and I love it!! They seem to gravitate toward our driveway though and it makes makes me sad to find find them run over . 3 this week alone. The rest of my family are pro homosapian. I'm the only lover of of all living things. I actually made this to ask... If there are 3 slugs on the concrete how many do u think there are in in the entire yard?? 2 acre. Rural landscape.


On Jul 30, 2018, Faithbruce84 from Kellyville, OK wrote:

Please make sure you are wearing gloves when handling these as several sites including a post on the CDC page say that they carry meningitis and can transfer the disease to people. I found out after finding one last year in the Tulsa Oklahoma metro area. I have these things all over my property.


On Jul 16, 2018, hamptons from Watermill, NY wrote:

Ha, I checked the list to make sure itís been officially noted in my area and it has. I have photos of these things going back for years. In fact, I have a photo of my husband holding one up all the way back when he had a full head of black hair!

Now, if only someone would note that sowbugs are NOT harmless to plants and eat plenty of healthy plants and not just ďdead plant materialĒ Iíll be happy. My gardens have been overrun with sowbugs ever since I stupidly allowed landscapers to put mulch down. They got the mulch for free from the town and it had been sitting next to the landfill for months. Agh! I donít use any pesticides so I guess Iím stuck with them.


On Jul 16, 2018, MeMow from Weston, OR wrote:

I discovered these guys here in north east Oregon about 3 years ago and I love them. It kind of freaked me out the first time I saw the hole in it's side and I thought I'd hurt it. Turns out it's a breather hole for when they're eating. I noticed they were coming out when I fed my outdoor cats soft food so my sister looked them up. Turns out they're carrion eaters. We watched a short clip of one eating a dead mouse and now feed them cat food just so we can watch. Never found one on a plant tho.


On Jul 16, 2018, elaine322 from Spokane, WA wrote:

These huge, disgusting creatures are all over in Spokane Valley, Washington also, and have been for at least the past several years! They are so damaging to plants - and just about make me sick when I see one on the patio and especially when it has slimed its way up onto the deck! They seem to have even climbed all the way up the deck posts and into some of the pots of flowers on the railing! If I see a slug, I make sure that it's immediately a dead slug!!!!!


On Aug 5, 2017, Kelcienichole from Brazil, IN wrote:

You may want to update the locations because I just saw this big long ugly slug at my doorstep in Brazil Indiana eating his own kind, and I mean he was LONG.


On Sep 18, 2015, greeneyed_witch76 from Bloomington, IL wrote:

Did a double-take when I saw this guy on one of my potted plants on the patio this rainy Friday morning! Had never seen one like him before, so looked him up on this site and decided to share my own pic :-) I didn't touch him, and since he's outside and not hurting anything, I'm not about to go pour salt on the poor thing! Kind of creepy, kind of cool, very interesting! Just have to keep my dog from getting a little too curious and inhaling him, lol.


On Sep 2, 2014, missyb1236 from Moulton, IA wrote:

I have been seeing these slugs in Moulton , Iowa for the( first time ever) this summer. As I've seen in other posts, my mother thought it was s snake and freaked out. I have so far seen approx. 7-8 of them around my property as well as inside my home. I actually think they are really neat, but VERY slimy and it is hard to wash the stickiness off your hands after handling them. There pattern is really beautiful.


On Jul 26, 2014, flo9 from Asheville, NC wrote:

You can add Asheville, NC to the list!!!!! I just posted a picture of it. It's been eating my baby albino peppers for weeks now killing all of the new ones on 1 plant in only 1 container so far, however, leaves the larger peppers alone on the plant.

About a month ago I saw a huge solid black one the same size of this one in picture on my patio near my garden. Anyone know what type that would be?? Then about a week later saw a leopard slug on the sidewalk and then made it's way to the grass... likely heading over to my garden. They can move really fast!!!!!! Since then I've noticed my peppers getting ruined.

I have dermatosis earth (sp) often on my plants and this doesn't kill them like they normally do for small slugs. I sprinkled some salt on it last night an... read more


On Aug 6, 2013, sherriperri from Gainesville, GA wrote:

Found one today inside our water meter box, very interesting creature to watch, I had never seen one before, so I did some research. All the research I found says they can be beneficial by hunting other plant destroying slugs..some articles even say they can be a gardener's friend. Does anyone else know???


On Aug 2, 2013, alisondm from Cleveland Heights, OH wrote:

I found this outside of my apartment building. I've never seen a slug this big before and it is SO COOL. I brought it inside and made a terrarium for it. Don't kill these! Nature is so interesting!


On Dec 4, 2012, mkhenricks from Indianapolis, IN wrote:

I found one of these on my porch on a somewhat rainy day. A couple of pieces of dry cat food had become dampened by the rain. The slug made its way over and ate chunks of cat food! I took a couple of pictures before it slimed it's way back off the porch with a full belly. (Belly? Do slugs have a belly? Or are they like worms, just an alimentary canal?)
Tonight I found one again around some cat food that I put out for a neighbor. It is much colder now and this slug seemed to have a problem with the dropping temp.
I just checked on him and he seems dead. There was some kind of large bean shaped egg, something on one end.
I have seen their glistening trails on the sidewalks. I don't know why people want to kill them, since they share this Earth with us and seem harmles... read more


On Jul 28, 2012, lmarie357 from Glen Park, NY wrote:

At first i thought it was a stick - then i realized it was moving. I must admit i was a bit creeped out, but also intrigued because I had never seen a slug this huge! It. Was late at night and i had my cell phone for a flashlight so it was difficult to coax this creature onto a big stick using a little stick and not dropping the phone! I had to bring it home and fins out what it was...and to watch it...i was just amazed and excited to learn about it.
so now Fred- since they are hermaphrodites i guess fred is as good a name as any -is residing in a moist habitat of coconut fiber and moss. (Just happened to have it since I recently took in the tinniest frog i have ever seen...but thats another post.
It is amazing to watch, once you get past the gross out factor of the slime! ... read more


On Jul 9, 2010, hulkflower22 from Boise, ID wrote:

My friend and I were outside talking one night and she freaked out because she thought she saw a snake!! It actually ended up being a huge slug! We freaked out and took pictures and jumped up and down like crazy people but were quite amazed by how large it was. We found this site and discovered what kind of slug it was and also read comments left by other users. We found it quite offensive to hear that people are getting such a thrill out of pouring salt on these poor helpless slugs. I am glad to hear that we are not the only ones who were excited to see such an amazing creature. We, however, left him alone in the garden rather than making him a new home...and would never pick something that slimy looking up. BUT AMEN SISTER!! If the bugs are in nature they should be left alone.


On May 23, 2010, nononoall from Athens, TX wrote:

Last night my small dog got me up to go for a walk to do his business. My yard has been under siege by voles, the vegetarian cousin of a mole. I have a new Kiwi vine started and it has been struggling so I expected it was under attack by the voles. Being dark, I led the way by flashlight to near the Kiwi plant. There on the pine bark was a darkish brown to tan spotted thing. I thought perhaps the cat had left a bad present. I got up to it real close anyway sensing it was not the other. Then I noticed how big it was. It was about 2--3 inches wide by roughly 4--6 inches long. I still was not sure what it was but I am the curious sort, so I picked it up with my bare hands. Wrong number one. Slime and it was coming out profusely as a milky or chalky colored fluid. When I got to the house, I go... read more


On Jul 14, 2008, morrigan from Craryville, NY wrote:

You know, every creature has their role to play. The more we mess with the balance in our own little microcosms, the larger and larger the imbalance everywhere. Yes, they are slimey, and awful to step on in bare feet in the dark! BUT, aside from some nominal damage to leafy lettuces and such, what harm are they really doing? I enjoy their presence, and know that they are just making a living, like everyone else in the cosmos!


On Apr 17, 2008, thethorinator from Clinton, MA (Zone 5a) wrote:

Although destructive pests, I know of one very sure way to kill them and be rid of the eggs or young which they carry...Sodium...that's right, simply shake a couple of dashes of table salt on the digusting things and watch them dry up and die before your eyes! Especially rewarding if done while they are stuck together mating!! The same method rids of snails as long as their bodies/feet are exposed, as even squishing them doesn't guarantee destruction of the eggs which I believe, but am not certain, that they carry. I've never tried the other forms of sodium like sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) but it could work, try it and re-post, please! RID THE WORLD OF SLUGS...ACK!


On Apr 3, 2008, jenewton from Peru, IN wrote:

I agree with everyone else..these slime guys are of no use to me at all! I had never seen such large slugs until I moved to Indiana. This is the furthest south I've ever lived. I always find them hiding under leaf litter or under landscaping timbers.


On Oct 2, 2007, Gabrielle from (Zone 5a) wrote:

For several years our neighborhood battled these. Neighbors would be out every evening with the salt shakers, trying to get them under control. The would climb up the walls of the house to mate, and leave their slime all over ... of course it made them easier to find and salt. They were everywhere! Once I accidentally brought one in on a pair of shoes and it made a mess in the kitchen ... the slime does not wash off easily! I wonder if ammonia would kill them as easily as it does other slugs?


On Oct 21, 2006, renwings from Sultan, WA (Zone 8a) wrote:

Everytime I see one of these guys, I want to scream. They are horrifically disgusting.
They devore my seedlings and my marigolds down to the soil. They love my strawberries. They eat the chicken feed too.
They are huge and unstoppable, they laugh in the face of slug repellants.
I actually had one crawl UNDER my front door, across the floor and up a wall before I discovered it in the morning. I thought they were scary OUTSIDE . . .
The chickens won't even attempt to eat them, they are so huge. I have found them sharing hiding places with salamanders.