MolluscIreland - land and freshwater
  • Limax maximus Linnaeus 1758 Great grey or tiger slug
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Limax maximus
© Dr Roy Anderson
Limax maximus
© Dr Roy Anderson

Map hosted by the National Biodiversity Data Centre, Waterford
To view the species profile on Biodiversity Maps and access the live map, please click on the map.


A very large slug, with pale brown, pinkish-brown or grey ground colour. Has two or three very dark lateral bands on each side which may be broken up into short streaks or spots. The mantle is spotted or marbled darker but not banded. The keel is short, about ⅓ the distance from mantle to tail. Tentacles are not spotted. Sole uniformly whitish. Very common.

Key characteristics

  • A very large keeled slug with uniformly whitish sole
  • Ground colour pale brown through pinkish-brown to dark grey, exceptionally black, with up to three broad, dark, lateral bands on each side
  • The mantle is spotted or marbled darker but not banded
  • Juvenile and adult colouration similar
  • Breathing pore towards rear of mantle
  • Mantle with shallow concentric grooves centred on the back


100-160 mm.

World Distribution

Confined to Europe but not in the extreme north or extreme south and no further east than Switzerland. Distribution type: Suboceanic Temperate (72).

GBIF distribution map [open in new tab]

Irish Distribution

Widespread and common across the island.


  • Lives primarily as a fungivore under bark or rotting wood in estates, woods and old gardens
  • Cook & Radford (1988) found specimens, living in suburbia at Coleraine, to be largely phytophagous on higher plants, but this is unusual
  • Uncommon in gardens and generally only in older properties with mature trees

Red List status

  • Least concern (lc).

Wikipedia link

Wikipedia page for Limax maximus

 Anderson, R., (2016). Limax maximus Linnaeus 1758. [In] MolluscIreland. Accessed on 2024-03-02.