Arion vulgaris


Nature preserve "Lielupes palienes pļavas",
Pils salas skatu tornis, Jelgava
56.662880, 23.725985

Spanish slug (Arion vulgaris) has been introduced in Latvia by transporting soil, compost or decorative plants, the roots or pots of which may contain adult snails, immature specimens or eggs. In the territory of Latvia, the pest is mainly introduced with seedlings. This poses a threat to Latvia's nature by negatively affecting native species and habitats, it interbreeds with native species, transmits animal and plant pathogens and is a significant agricultural pest.

Be careful, because Latvia is also home to a native species that does not threaten Latvia's biodiversity – the ash-grey slug (Limax cinereoniger).

The length of the body of an adult is 7-14 cm. The colour varies but most often is brownish, greyish-green, can also be brownish, orange or grey – less often black. The underside is white or grey without grooves. The mucus on the underside is mostly colourless, but the mucus on the body is usually yellowish or orange in colour. The surface of the body is covered with prominent large and elongated wart-shaped bumps. Adult specimens have a dark band on both sides of the body.

Similar species
The Spanish slug can be mixed up with the red slug (Arion rufus) and black slug (Arion ater).

Manner of introduction
Introduced through transport/import of soil, compost or decorative plants to the roots or pots of which the adult, juvenile or eggs of the slug attach.

Natural dispersion occurs along roadsides, via ditched and along the shores of water bodies. The species can expand through abandoned grasslands, bushes and forests.

Characteristics of preferred habitat
Found in gardens, fields, greenery, roadsides, ditches, cemetaries, shores of water bodies, sand dunes, forests and meadows.

Familiarize yourself with invasive species and submit your observataions to: “Invazīvo sugu pārvaldnieks”!

Source:  “Invazīvo sugu pārvaldnieks”, Nature Conservation Agency

© Biedrība "Dabas koncertzāle" 2021