Balkan Threeband Slug Ambigolimax nyctelius

Class Gastropoda (Slugs & snails)
Order Pulmonata (Lung-bearing slugs & snails)
Family Limacidae (Keelback slugs)
Species Ambigolimax nyctelius (Bourguignat, 1861)

Length 40-60 mm.

This species has a small keel, a pale sole with clear coloured mucus. It is grey to pink-brown, with fairly translucent skin; lyre-shaped banding on mantle; pair of longitudinal dark lines (sometimes breaking up into spots) on dorsum and mantle on either side of a mid-line. Similar to the Iberian Threeband Slug (Ambigolimax valentianus), which is usually paler with a more watery appearance and not as well marked and usually has just two bands on the mantle. To separate the two species required either DNA testing or dissection and microscopic examination, hence these images are representitive of the species only.

Seen all year round in various habitats including deciduous woodland and gardens; under fallen logs, stones and in compost heaps – usually in shady places. Mainly recorded from the south of England.

Discovered in rear garden, South Staffordshire. August 2021. © Peter Hillman.