Virginia Land Snails
Megapallifera wetherbyi (W.G. Binney, 1874)
Photo(s): Megapallifera wetherbyi by John Slapcinsky ©
Click photo(s) to enlarge.
Common name: Blotchy Mantleslug
Length: 40-80 mm
Megapallifera wetherbyi is a large slug with a mantle that covers the entire dorsal surface. The mantle is light whitish-grey with much darker mottling of dark grey brown spots. These spots usually coalesce to form about ten chevron shaped bands that run from the center of the mantle slightly forward on both sides to the mantle edge. These bands sometimes merge along the center of the mantle forming a central band but they do not normally form lateral bands. The mantle pattern is highly variable but clearer and more striking than that of Megapallifera mutabilis. Like other Megapallifera and Pallifera there is no dart present in the reproductive system.
This species is found in rocky forests in coves, river bluffs, ravines and sinks, usually on rocky soils where they are often observed crawling on smooth bark trees and rocks at night and during wet weather. These slugs aestivate under loose bark, in tree holes and between rocks.
Megapallifera wetherbyi is restricted to the Cumberland Mountains and Cumberland Plateau from eastern Kentucky to northeastern Alabama. In Virginia this species found only is the extreme southwestern part of the state, along the border with Kentucky. This species is not often collected and, until recently, museum records documenting the species range were sparse. Recent collecting suggests this species is restricted to the Cumberland Escarpment, where it is fairly common and widespread.
NatureServe Global Rank: G2/G3
NatureServe State Rank: S1?
Virginia’s wildlife action plan: Tier II
John Slapcinsky 10/2012Range Map