Golden Shelled Slug - Testacella scutulum agg.


A slug of 70 to 100 mm in length it is yellow and speckled with brown spots. It has two grooves along the length of the body that meet at the small, vestigial shell at the tail-end.  foot fringe and sole usually orange.

Similar Species

Recently, genetic analysis has shown that T. scutulum is in fact two species and in fact many of the previous records of T. scutulum may well be Testacella sp. "tenuipenis". The visual difference is subtle, with the grooves on T. scutulum meeting before the shell at an acute angle whereas with "tenuipenis" they meet at a less acute angle.

Testacella haliotidea is a similar yellow shelled slug but generally lacks the brown speckling.

Identification difficulty

Found mostly in parks and gardens. During the day the animals are hidden in the soil, perhaps some 10 to 30 cm below the surface, they come to the surface in the evening. By day it may sometimes be found under flat stones bedded in the earth or sheltering under rubbish near walls.

When to see it

All year round.

Life History

Subterranean, consumes earthworms.

UK Status

Widespread but occasional in Britain.

VC55 Status

Rare or under-recorded in Leicestershire and Rutland.

Leicestershire & Rutland Map


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

UK Map