Red slug

Red slug
Red slug
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Gastropoda
(unranked): clade Heterobranchia

clade Euthyneura
clade Panpulmonata
clade Eupulmonata
clade Stylommatophora
informal group Sigmurethra

Superfamily: Arionoidea
Family: Arionidae
Genus: Arion
Species: A. rufus
Binomial name
Arion rufus
(Linnaeus, 1758)

The red slug, also known as the chocolate arion or the European red slug, Arion rufus, is a large land slug, a terrestrial pulmonate gastropod mollusk in the family Arionidae, the roundback slugs.

This species is characterised by its (usually) red or brown body and lack of a keel.



At most, a full-grown red slug can extend to be approximately 18 cm (7 in) in length; although they usually only grow to be 7–10 cm (2.7–3.9 in) long.

Its genus, Arion, is derived from the name of the legendary Greek poet Arion. Its species name, rufus, is Latin for red. Although very often brick-red or brown in coloration, Arion rufus can also be greenish-brown, black, yellow, or orange.

Head-on view of red slug
Red slug on rhubarb in a garden
Copulating pair and a third party
Egg cluster surrounded by earth

Perhaps the red slug's most noticeable feature is the placement of its pneumostome just before the mid-point of its mantle. Like all slugs, the red slug moves relatively slowly, using the muscular contractions of the underside of its foot, which is mostly red with stripes.

The red slug, like all other slugs, uses two pairs of tentacles to sense its environment. The darkly-coloured upper pair, called optical tentacles, is used to sense light. The lower pair provide the red slug's sense of smell. Both pairs can retract and extend themselves to avoid hazards, and, if lost to an accident or predation, can be regrown.


The red slug typically lives in gardens, fields, or wooded areas near human activity.


This slug is mostly found in Denmark, where it was a was introduced by some scientists in a forrest near Silkeborg in 1913. And with help from people, it spread to the rest of East Jutland where it, by itself, spread to:

Germany, Poland, Sweden, Norway and Great Britain

See also

  • The red slug is said by some to be the same species as the black slug, Arion ater.
  • The Spanish slug, Arion vulgaris, is known to interbreed with the black slug and perhaps the red slug.[1]
  • in a matter of 2 years the red slug ate 75% of the west coast strawberries


  1. ^ Engelke, S. (2006?): Til Snegleforeningen (Note to the Danish Slug-society). Article in Danish


External links

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