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love me tender

love me tender
Photo Information
Copyright: Michal Grabowski (cedryk) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 967 W: 50 N: 1722] (5270)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2003-07-14
Categories: Molluscs
Camera: Nikon Coolpix 5000, 28-105 mm, @ ISO 100
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/60 seconds
Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Photos with titles of songs, Sexy nature, !Slugfest [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2005-11-17 20:50
Viewed: 5326
Points: 20
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Limax maximus Linnaeus, 1758
Family: Limacidae

It's not easy to observe copulating snails! Why?

1) It's simply not easy to spot them, they copulate only in rainy days in humid places.

2) Copulation lasts for hours and is very slow, not possible to wait until something interesting happens, you have to be there right at the moment. Watching for hours how they unsuccesfully try to stick their penises into each other bodies just makes you feel better that we are humans :-)

How do they "do it"? Here you are:

"The bizarre mid-air copulation of the great grey slug, Limax maximus, first impressed observers at the end of the last century. The initial stages of courtship usually take place on a branch, or perhaps on a bracket fungus - a favorite food. Delicate interplay with the tentacles is followed by 30-150 minutes of 'follow my leader', during which one slug pursues the other 'mouth to tail' around and around until the circle begins to shrink. At this point the slugs, with an obvious sense of increasing arousal, pitch themselves earthwards for a distance of some
38-46 cm before being brought up short on a broad rope of mucus which they have belayed behind them. As they swing to a halt, each slug unleashes its penis to a length of some 10 cm and their bodies closely entwine. Becoming quiescent, they exchange sperm and split up, either returning back whence they came, by crawling up the mucus cable, or else dropping to the ground."

(from "The Encyclopaedia of Land Invertebrate Behavior" by Preston-Mafham)

Lovely, isn't it!? :-) It was even more perverted as the whole action took place on a granite tomb, on the biggest and oldest cementary in Lviv (Lyczakowski Cementary). I spent there some 30 minutes just watching but I could observe no progress at all...

I know the quality of the shot isn't perfect, but the object was uneasy with the slimy and higly reflective body. What's even worse, I had to use the flash, as there was very dark among the stones of the grave.

TAZ, marhowie, livios, scottevers7, petrudamsa, cicindela, Shoot_Score has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2005-11-18 2:31]

What a rare capture of this fascinating mating scene. The note about the snails' behavior was very informative and interesting. Your patience really paid off, Michal. TFS. : )

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2005-11-18 2:58]

Michal, you little perverted voyeur ;-)))
You're very lucky! Rare moment, great note about this event. My favourite writer Gerald Durrell wrote about same event in one of his books. Picture is very good, but two snails look disguisting ;-)

  • Great 
  • TAZ Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2241 W: 47 N: 3167] (10926)
  • [2005-11-18 5:53]

What a strange and interesting Limax that you have nicely captured ! I also appreciate the complementary note... Congratulations Michal and thanks for sharing.

You've done very well Michal to capture this under difficult conditions. Very good detail & use of flash showing this slimy "love me tender" lovefest action ;-) (that's a mouthful). EXCELLENT notes on the copulation of this species..Very well done!
Thank You.

  • Great 
  • livios Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2150 W: 319 N: 4263] (16942)
  • [2005-11-18 10:40]

Michal, despite the bad conditions, you did great.

This picture is one of a kind.

Excellent pov and composition to show us this very interesting... happening.

  • Great 
  • sAner Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1455 W: 74 N: 1426] (4750)
  • [2005-11-19 4:19]

Very different and a very rare opportunity to shoot. Well done & TFS!


Hi Michal,
This is a rare moment that I have never personally observed. A great job on this capture. Detail and exposure look great. Excellent work! Very interesting.

Interesting to say the least! ;) Nice shot.


Skoro ktos juz poruszyl watek Freuda, to sie moze tego trzymajmy ;)
Przede wszystkim zdjecie podoba mi sie z uwagi na rzadkosc fotografowania slimaczych godow ;) To duze szczescie cos takiego widziec, a do tego jeszcze zrobic przyzwoite zdjecie to juz w ogole... Tak, tak ;) Tobie sie to calkiem niezle udalo.
Brawo takze za szczegolowy opis, sporo ciekawego tu znalezc mozna :)

Hello Michal,
There are many incredibly good shots in your Gallery, How come I didn't see them before, eh?
Anyway, this closeup is simply amazing. Perfect note.
Greetings and thanks for sharing!!!

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