- Publisher: National Audubon Society
- Published: March 8, 1987
PROFESSOR Todd Newberry has dutifully lodged a request, a plea in fact, that any discussion of Ariolimax columbianus and A. dolichophallus be kept properly high-minded and scientific. A University of California Santa Cruz biologist, Newberry feels that spineless creatures deserve deference and respect. And he knows that word-drivers often cannot resist dragging such helpless targets through the metaphoric gutter.
“I know you will not join the crowd that can’t seem to handle themselves when it comes to invertebrates,” writes Newberry, in a cover letter attached to background material on Ariolimax.
“Play it straight.”
So, class, let us remain stone sober and crack not a smile while we review the natural history of a hermaphroditic animal commonly known as the banana slug, a variety of which carries a Latin appellation meaning “long penis.”
While analyzing this mollusk’s reproductive behavior, we will eschew sly allusions to human beings, a feat of herculean restraint considering that a scientist has observed these gastropods still attached in post-copulatory after-glow, chewing off the lengthy organ to break free.