Do slugs freeze in winter?

Some do, but slugs are surprisingly adept at surviving freezing conditions – very low temperatures do not have a particularly negative impact on overall numbers for the following year.

Slug crawling on a path in a garden. © TT/Getty

In winter, slugs seek out thermally buffered hibernation sites where temperatures rarely dip below 0°C. These are usually underground and provide protection from the worst winter frosts.

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Studies also show that even if slugs are directly exposed to frost crystals, both juveniles and adults of most species are able to withstand the formation of extra-cellular ice in their tissues for a limited time.

Slug eggs also overwinter in large numbers, probably surviving the chill by ‘supercooling’ – lowering their normal freezing points.

Close-Up Of Slug
Slug. © Achille Salerni/EyeEm/Getty

Do you have a wildlife question you’d like answered? Email your question to wildquestions@immediate.co.uk or post it to Q&A, BBC Wildlife Magazine, Immediate Media Company, Eagle House, Bristol, BS1 4ST.

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Main image: Slug crawling on a path in a garden. © TT/Getty