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Arion vulgaris Taxon Arion vulgaris (Moquin-Tandon, 1855) Family / Order / Class / Phylum Arionidae / Pulmonata / Gastropoda / Mollusca COMMON NAMES (English only) Lusitanian Slug Spanish Slug SYNONYMS Arion lusitanicus (Mabille, 1868) SHORT DESCRIPTION Large, 7-15 cm long, polyphagous slug feeding on a wide range of green plants, on decayed organic matter and animal carcasses; color variable, usually grayishgreen BIOLOGY/ECOLOGY Close-up of Arion vulgaris Dispersal mechanisms Although this spe
   Arion vulgaris Taxon Family / Order / Class / Phylum  Arion vulgaris (Moquin-Tandon, 1855) Arionidae / Pulmonata / Gastropoda / Mollusca COMMON NAMES (English only) Lusitanian SlugSpanish Slug SYNONYMS  Arion lusitanicus (Mabille, 1868) SHORT DESCRIPTION Large, 7-15 cm long, polyphagous slug feeding on awide range of green plants, on decayed organic matterand animal carcasses; color variable, usually grayish-green BIOLOGY/ECOLOGYDispersal mechanisms Although this species is highly mobile for a slug(5-9 m/h) natural dispersal is low. Their homerange is negatively correlated with populationdensity. Large anthropogenic distance dispersal of eggs, immature and adult slugs is predominantly via plantmaterial. Reproduction It is a hermaphroditic species. Mating usually takes place in spring. A slug can produce up to 400 eggs in autumnat one time (semelparous). Maturity of young slugs is reached within one year. It has one (sometimes two)generations per year. Known predators/herbivores Hedgehogs, some birds, amphibians and reptiles, larger ground beetles feed on eggs and young slugs. Resistant stages (seeds, spores etc.) Eggs may tolerate adverse conditions. HABITATNative (EUNIS code) G1: Broadleaved deciduous woodland (in the lowlands) Habitat occupied in invaded range (EUNIS code) I2: Cultivated areas of gardens and parks, I: Regularly or recently cultivated agricultural, horticultural anddomestic habitats, G1: Broadleaved deciduous woodland (in the lowlands) Habitat requirements Moist habitats DISTRIBUTIONNative (EUNIS code) Southwest Europe (parts of Spain, France, UK) Known Introduced Range Large parts of central and the southern part of northern Europe, USA (since 1998) Trend In Europe, increasing in abundance, distributional and altitudinal range Close-up of   Arion vulgaris   Photo: W. Fischer  MAP (European distribution)Legend Known in country Known in CGRS square Known in seaNative in country Native in CGRS square Assumed native range INTRODUCTION PATHWAY The slug was unintentionally introduced with plant material, package and waste materials. Because of scattered firstrecords across Europe, several independent introduction events are presumed. IMPACTEcosystem Impact It is an important plant defoliator. Outcompetes native slug species due to its large size and its high populationdensities and hybridises with the native  A. ater  . If combated with toxic baits, the toxicants can accumulate inpredators. Health and Social Impact It is an intermediate host of nematode parasites affecting pets. The use of toxic baits could have adverse effectson children and pets in private gardens. Economic Impact It is the most important slug pest in Europe causing severe damage to horticultural plants in private and publicgardens and cultivated crops in agriculture. It is also known for transmission of plant pathogens. MANAGEMENTPrevention Screening of introduced plant material and packaging. No intentional releases from private gardens to naturalsites. Mechanical Traps; slug fences; collecting by hand and killing slugs with boiling water. Chemical Several toxicants (e.g., Metaldehyds, Carbamates) are available. Biological Providing near-natural habitats so that natural predators are supported; use of nematodes ( Phasmarhabditishermaphrodita ) as biocontrol agents.  REFERENCES Buschmann H, Keller M, Porret N et al (2005) The effect of slug grazing on vegetation development and plantspecies diversity in an experimental grassland. Funct Ecol 19:291-298Grimm B (2002) Effect of the nematode Phasmarhabditis hermaphrodita on young stages of the pest slug  Arionlusitanicus . J Moll Stud 68:25-28Kozlowski J (2005) Host plants and harmfulness of the  Arion lusitanicus Mabille, 1868 slug. J Plant Prot Res45:221-233 2005 OTHER REFERENCES Briner T, Frank T (1998) Egg laying activity of the slug  Arion lusitanicus Mabille in Switzerland. J Conch 36:9–15Briner T, Frank T (1998) The palatability of 78 wildflower strip plants to the slug  Arion lusitanicus . Ann Appl Biol133:123–133Fischer W, Reischütz PL (1999) General aspects about the slugpests. Die Bodenkultur 49:281–292Frank T (1998) Slug damage and numbers of the slug pests,  Arion lusitanicus and  Deroceras reticulatum , in oilseedrape grown beside sown wildflower strips. Agric. Ecosyst. Environ. 67:67–78Frank T (1998) Slug damage and number of slugs (Gastropoda: Pulmonata) in winter wheat fields with sownwildflower strips. J Moll Stud 64:319–328Frank T (1998) Slug damage and numbers of slugs in oilseed rape bordering on grass strips. J Moll Stud 64:461–466Grimm B (2001) Life cycle and population density of the pest slug  Arion lusitanicus Mabille (Mollusca: Pulmonata)on grassland. Malacologica 43:25–32Grimm B, Paill W (2001) Spatial distribution and home-range of the pest slug  Arion lusitanicus (Mollusca:Pulmonata). Acta Oecologica 22:1–9Grimm B, Schaumberger K (2002) Daily activity of the pest slug  Arion lusitanicus under laboratory conditions. AnnAppl Biol 141:35–44Grimm B, Paill W, Kaiser H (2000) Daily activity of the pest slug  Arion lusitanicus Mabille. J Moll Stud 66:125–130Keller M, Kollmann J, Edwards PJ (1999) Palatability of weeds from different European srcins to the slugs  Deroceras reticulatum Müller and  Arion lusitanicus Mabille. Acta Oecologia 20:109–118Kozlowska M, Kozlowski J (2004) Remarks on slug occurrence, harmfulness and activity connected withpenetration of ground. J Plant Protection Res 44:331–339Kozlowski J (2000) Density of the slug  Arion lusitanicus Mabille (Gastropoda: Pulmonata) in differentmicrohabitats. J Plant Protection Res 40:158–161Kozlowski J, Kaluski T (2004) Preferences of   Deroceras reticulatum (O.F.Müller),  Arion lusitanicus Mabille and  Arion rufus (Linnaeus) for various weed and herb species and winter oilseed rape. Folia Malacologica 12:173–180Paill W, Backeljau T, Grimm B, Kastberger G, Kaiser H (2002) Isoelectric focusing as a tool to evaluate carabidbeetles as predatory agents of the pest slug  Arion lusitanicus . Soil Biol Biochem 34:1333–1342Proschwitz T von (1997)  Arion lusitanicus Mabille and  A. rufus (L.) in Sweden: A comparison of occurrence,spread and naturalization of two alien slug species. Heldia 4:137–138Speiser B, Zaller JG, Neudecker A (2001) Size-specific susceptibility of the pest slugs  Deroceras reticulatum and  Arion lusitanicus to the nematode biocontrol agent Phasmarhabditis hermaphrodita . BioControl 46:311–320Weidema I (2006) NOBANIS – Invasive Alien Species Fact Sheet –  Arion lusitanicus . Online Database of theNorth European and Baltic Network on Invasive Alien Species. www.nobanis.orgAuthor: Wolfgang RabitschDate Last Modified: October 30 th , 2006
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