Dusky Slug Arion (Mesarion) subfuscus

Class Gastropoda (Slugs & snails)
Order Pulmonata (Lung-bearing slugs & snails)
Family Arionidae (Roundback slugs)
Species Arion (Mesarion) subfuscus (Draparnaud, 1805)

Length 50-70mm.

The Dusky Slug comes in various shades of yellows and browns, usually with two dark lateral bands fairly high on the body. An important identification feature is the body mucus which stains orange on your finger when you stroke the tail end. The body contracts to an elongate dome. The sole is pale and the sole fringe blends in with the body. The head and tentacles are usually purple-brown.

Feeds on leaves, stems, flowers and fruits close to the ground like strawberries and tomatoes and will also eat fungi. Because of this catholic diet, it doesn’t cause much damage to live plants so is not much of a pest. Seen all year round in well vegetated habitats, including woods and grassland. Common and widespread across Britain except in East Anglia where it is more local. Native.

Found in local wood, South Staffordshire July 2021. © Peter Hillman.

Species identification confirmed and recorded by an expert from iRecord.