Virginia Land Snails


Photo(s): Arion intermedius varies in color, images by Roy Anderson ©.

Click photo(s) to enlarge.

Arion intermedius (Normand, 1852) (non-native)

Family: Arionidae
Common name: Hedgehog Arion

Length: ≈20 mm

This small light-colored slug is called a hedgehog because when it contracts its dorsal tubercles look as if they are pointed, though they are soft and “jelly-like” (Pilsbry, 1948; Kerney & Cameron, 1979). It is also distinct for its lemon-yellow sole and slime. It may be gray to yellow or white dorsally, and may be banded on each side. There may be dark dots upon the anterior foot fringe. As others of its family, it has a mantle that covers the forward part of its upper surface.

Arion intermedius is introduced from Europe, and in eastern North America is scattered in developed habitats such as yards and farms, but may also be found in regenerated woods and wetlands. It favors somewhat more acid habitats than its congeners (Kerney & Cameron, 1979). In the Northeast it appears to reproduce through the summer and fall, and overwinters as eggs or immature (Chichester & Getz, 1973). One to two dozen eggs are deposited in litter and under logs, and hatch in three weeks.

Synonyms for Arion intermedius are A. minimus and Limax intermedius.

In North America, Arion intermedius is reported from widely-scattered locations including eastern Canada, New York, Idaho, and Hawaii (NatureServe, 2013). In Virginia it has been found in two counties in the northeast and northwest, but is probably underreported.

NatureServe Global Rank: G5
NatureServe State Rank: not ranked


Ken Hotopp 1/2013

Range Map