It’s the famous Banana Slug (even though it doesn’t have the typical bright yellow color)! Probably the most popular – or should we say: the only popular – slug in the world. Ariolimax californicus even beat a much more photogenic Sea Lion in a popular vote on the official mascot of the University of California, Santa Cruz sports teams:
“The chancellor considered sea lions more dignified and suitable to serious play than Banana Slugs. But the new name did not find favor with the majority of students, who continued to root for the Slugs even after a sea lion was painted in the middle of the basketball floor. After five years of dealing with the two-mascot problem, an overwhelming proslug straw vote by students in 1986 persuaded the chancellor to make the lowly but beloved Banana Slug UCSC’s official mascot.”
“The Banana Slug even figured in a court case involving campus mascots. Judge Terence Evans, writing the opinion for the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, stated: “We give the best college nickname nod to the University of California, Santa Cruz. Imagine the fear in the hearts of opponents who travel there to face the imaginatively named ‘Banana Slugs’?” (Crue et al. v. Aiken, June 1, 2004)” (UCSC.edu on the Banana Slug Mascot)
Banana slug fan gear is available here – how about some Slug Slippers?