Friday 24 May
Common garden slug (Arion distinctus)
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Common garden slug fact file
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Common garden slug description
Once included in the aggregate species Arion hortensis agg, the garden slug (Arion distinctus) is still confused with the similar species Arion hortensis and Arion owenii (2). The common garden slug is a yellow-grey colour with a bluish-black head and tentacles (2). Towards the rear end of the slug there is a yellowish stripe in the middle of the back, there are also stripes around the sides of the body (2).
- Length: 3 cm (1)
Common garden slug biology
The common garden slug breeds throughout much of the year and can be a serious pest of gardens as they attack cultivated plants, fruit, tubers and bulbs (1), which are eaten by means of a rasping tongue known as a radula. They emerge at night, and spend the day in moist places beneath stones, logs and other objects (1).
Slugs are hermaphrodites, meaning that individuals possess both male and female reproductive organs, but self-fertilisation does not occur. During courtship, members of a pair follow each other in circles, whilst feeding on their partner's mucus trail (3).Top
Common garden slug rangeTop
Common garden slug habitat
This slug is typically found in habitats with a strong human influence such as gardens and parks (2).Top
Common garden slug status
Common and widespread in Britain (1).Top
Common garden slug threats
This slug is not threatened.Top
Common garden slug conservation
Conservation action has not been targeted at this common species.Top
Find out more
For more on invertebrates and their conservation see Buglife, the Invertebrate Conservation Trust at:
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- Containing free calcium carbonate, chalky.
- Possessing both male and female sex organs.
- In some molluscs, a narrow structure that bears teeth and is used to rasp at food.
- National Biodiversity Network Species Dictionary (Jan 2003): http://www.nhm.ac.uk/nbn/
- Pfleger, V. & Chatfield, J. (1983) A guide to snails of Britain and Europe. The Hamlyn Publishing Group, Ltd., London.
- Janus, H. (1982) The illustrated guide to molluscs. Harold Starke Ltd., London.
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