Virginia Land Snails
Photo(s): Deroceras laeve by Bill Frank ©.
Click photo(s) to enlarge.
Deroceras laeve (Müller, 1774)
Common name: Meadow Slug
Length: 10-25 mm
This small slug has a short mantle covering its upper surface toward the head, and a keeled tail. Its mantle has concentric furrows that create a “fingerprint” pattern, while mucous channels on the tail are generally longitudinal. The color of this animal varies greatly by population, often gray, brown, reddish, or black. The foot is light-colored and the slime clear and watery. Rather than being a sleek oval shape, its body sometimes appears a bit irregular or “lumpy” beneath the mantle.
Deroceras laeve is often found in open areas (Hubricht, 1985) – back yards, fields, shrublands, young woods, or developed lands. In the north it can be found in alder swamps and more-established mesic forests.
Synonyms for D. laeve are many, and include Agriolimax campestris, A. hemphilli ashmuni, Limax laevis, L. gracilis, L. campestris, L. weinlandi, L. montanus, L. castaneus, L. hyperboreas, and L. hemphilli.
Deroceras laeve is holarctic, and in the East lives from Hudson Bay, Canada to Central America (Pilsbry, 1948). While some North American populations are ancient, others may be more recently introduced from Europe. In Virginia this species is reported from widely scattered locations.
NatureServe Global Rank: G5
NatureServe State Rank: S3
Ken Hotopp 12/2012Range Map