Netted Slug - Deroceras reticulatum

Description

Though variable, this slug usually has a pale creamy body and a brown mantle. It can be distinguished from other Derocerus species by the large and distinct tubercles which are often black edged to give it the 'netted' appearance. It produces milky mucus when irritated.

Identification difficulty
Identification aids

Netted Slug vs Chestnut Slug

The Netted Slug, Derocerus reticulatum, is probably the most common and widespread slug in the UK. It can be found in almost all terrestrial habitats so is a species you are likely to encounter frequently. Whilst it is fairly straightforward to identify, it is most likely to be confused with the Chestnut Slug, Derocerus invadens, which is also common, particularly around buildings and in disturbed sites. So how can you be sure which is which?

Firstly check that it is a Derocerus:

  • Small-medium size (15-30mm)
  • Pale coloured – a shade of off-white/pale grey/pale brown
  • No stripes or spots (the Netted Slug may have a few vague brown blotches)
  • A keel at the tip of the tail but only running a short way over the body
  • A whitish sole and colourless/milky mucus
  • Mantle (front section) is roughly half the length of the slug

ID aid

Habitat

It can be found in most lowland habitats, particularly on disturbed ground such as gardens.

When to see it

All year.

Life History

Can be a major pest of crops such as lettuce.

UK Status

This is the most common slug in Europe and is widespread in Britain.

VC55 Status

Very 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