Garden Slug - Arion hortensis


    25 - 35mm. This slug belongs to a species-complex called the Arion hortensis group, which is comprised of Arion hortensis, A. owenii and A. distinctus. However A. owenii has not been found in VC55. Both A. hortensis and A. distinctus  are dark grey or bluish grey (though A. owenii is tawny brown) with a dark lateral stripe. Arion hortensis has a darker back and contrasting paler sides with few gold speckles on its tubercles. The tentacles are dark grey and translucent. It has an orange sole and orange/yellow mucus, the same as A. distinctus.

    Similar Species

    Arion distinctus - uniformly dark grey but usually with many gold speckles on its tubercles. Tentacles dark grey and not translucent.

    Arion hortensis - more contrasting black back and paler sides with fewer gold speckles on its tubercles. Tentacles dark grey but translucent, with a warm glow.

    Identification difficulty

    Most common on cultivated land, but can also be found in woods and gardens.

    Life History

    Eats any plants near the ground, and is a serious pest of strawberries, lettuces and seedlings.

    UK Status

    Common and widespread in Britain.

    VC55 Status

    Common in Leicestershire and Rutland.

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    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    MAP KEY:

    Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
    Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

    UK Map