Taxonomy

Arion (Arion) vulgaris

Distribution

Status

Conservation status

Not Assessed

First reported in the wild

1984

Invasiveness

Invasive species - risk of Medium Impact

Introduction pathways - 1

Uncertain

Invasive score

15

NAPRA Ireland risk assessed

No

Species Biology

Identification

Large brown or black roundback slug, does not respond to mechanical stimuli by rocking and has a dull foot fringe (Anderson, 2010).

Ecology

"It is the most important slug pest in Europe causing severe damage to horticultural plants in private and public gardens and cultivated crops in agriculture" (Rabitsch, 2009). Outcompetes native slugs, is the intermediate host for a number of parasites of pets and causes damage to plants (Rabitsch, 2009).

Habitat

Woodland, forest and other wooded land; Constructed, industrial or other artificial habitats; Regularly or recently cultivated agricultural, horticultural or domestic habitat

Reproduction

Hermaphrodite, usually mates during spring with 400 eggs produced per individual (Rabitsch, 2009),though mating occurs from the end of August until the end of September in Norway, with mean of 101 eggs produced per individual (Roth et al., 2012).

Pathway and vector description

Introduced to other parts of Europe as contaminants in nursery material it is unknown at present how it came to be introduced to Ireland.

Mechanism of impact

Grazing/Herbivory/Browsing

Broad environment

Terrestrial

Habitat description

Found in woodlands and gardens in Europe

Species group

Invertebrate

Native region

Europe

Distribution

World distribution(GBIF)

Irish distribution

Unknown

Native distribution

There is widespread confusion over taxonomic status of this and a number of other slug species/subspecies and differing accounts of invasion, natural spread and native status (Pfenninger et al., 2014; Roth et al., 2012), Native range is currently thought to be west coast of France and southern Britain (Rabitsch, 2009).

Temporal change

Date of first record category

Unknown

Fifty year date category

Unknown

Records submitted to Data Centre in 2019

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How can you help

Report any sightings to the National Biodiversity Data Centre.

Further information

Delivering Alien Invasive Species In Europe (DAISIE) project list this as one of the 100 Worst Invaders in Europe.

References

Publications

Pfenninger, M., Weigand, A., Bálint, M., & Klussmann-Kolb, A. (2014). Misperceived invasion: the Lusitanian slug (Arion lusitanicus auct. non-Mabille or Arion vulgaris Moquin-Tandon 1855) is native to Central Europe. Evolutionary applications, 7(6), 702-713. Roth, S., Hatteland, B. A., & Solhøy, T. (2012). Some notes on reproductive biology and mating behaviour of Arion vulgaris Moquin-Tandon 1855 in Norway including a mating experiment with a hybrid of Arion rufus (Linnaeus 1758) x ater (Linnaeus 1758). Journal of Conchology, 41(2), 249. Rabitsch, W. (2009) Arion vulgaris In: Handbook of Alien Species in Europe DAISE, Springer.

DAISIE Factsheet