MolluscIreland - land and freshwater
  • Lehmannia valentiana (A. Férussac 1822) Spanish slug
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Lehmannia valentiana
© Dr Roy Anderson
Lehmannia valentiana
© Dr Roy Anderson
Lehmannia valentiana
© Dr Roy Anderson

Map hosted by the National Biodiversity Data Centre, Waterford
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Might be confused with L. marginata but this is a smaller species and the lateral bands are thinner and higher on the back forming conspicuous 'tram-tracks' across the mantle to the tail. The predominant ground colour has yellowish or pinkish undertones. Increasingly common, especially in urban areas.

Key characteristics

  • A medium-sized watery slug with yellowish-grey to pinkish-grey ground colour
  • Lateral bands thin, dark and high on the back forming 'tramtracks' along the mantle and back - occasionally bands are doubled up, exceptionally, absent
  • Keel short and unmarked
  • Mucus watery and colourless
  • Breathing pore to the rear of the mantle
  • Mantle with shallow 'fingerprint' grooves centred on the back

Size

55-70 mm.

World Distribution

Indigenous in Spain and the Balearic Islands but spread by human activities to many other parts of the world including North America, Africa, Australasia and the British Isles.

Irish Distribution

First recorded in the British Isles in 1948 when specimens were collected at the Palm House in Belfast Botanic Gardens (Quick, 1960). Comparatively recently (since about 1980) it began to naturalise in gardens in the vicinity of Dublin, since when it has spread explosively in natural and semi-natural habitats, mainly gardens or other disturbed places but increasingly under bark on trees in woodland.

Ecology

  • More if a generalist feeder than L. marginata and not confined to trees or shaded habitats
  • While it may feed on lichens and other natural foods in woodland, elsewhere it is adaptable and will feed on fresh plant material in gardens
  • Pre-eminently in disturbed habitats such as gardens and waste places
  • Has potential as a pest in horticulture

Red List status

  • Not applicable.

Wikipedia link

Wikipedia page for Lehmannia valentiana

 Anderson, R., (2016). Lehmannia valentiana (A. Férussac 1822). [In] MolluscIreland.
http://www.habitas.org.uk/molluscireland/species.asp?ID=100 Accessed on 2017-10-18.