Shelled slug

Shelled slug

name = Shelled Slug

image_width = 230px
image_caption = Shelled Slug, "Testacella haliotidea"
status = NE
regnum = Animalia
phylum = Mollusca
classis = Gastropoda
ordo = Pulmonata
familia = Testacellidae
genus = "Testacella"
species = "T. haliotidea"
binomial = "Testacella haliotidea"
binomial_authority = Draparnaud, 1801

The shelled slug,"Testacella haliotidea", is a rarely seen, air-breathing, carnivorous land slug, a terrestrial gastropod mollusk in the family Testacellidae, the shelled slugs.

This slug, like others in the family, has a small shell which is situated towards the rear of the animal. The species is called "haliotidea" because the shell of this species resembles in shape a miniature version of the shell of the marine species in the family Haliotidae, the abalones.


This species is common along the western Mediterranean, along the European Atlantic coast and throughout Great Britain apart from northern Scotland. This slug occurs in Europe but its distribution is under-recorded there.

It also occurs as an introduced species in southern Australia, New Zealand and North America (where it is called the earshell slug). The distribution data for the United States, (Oregon, Wisconsin) and Canada (British Columbia, Nova Scotia) are incomplete.


This species is seen mostly in the spring, living in cultivated habitats or on disturbed ground. The slug lives mostly underground, but may sometimes be found under stones or in leaf litter.


This is a large, very agile, pale brown slug, with a length of 12 cm. It has a small ear-shaped, external shell, less than l cm long, at the tail end of the mantle.

Life habits

The diet of these slugs consists mainly of earthworms, which are usually attacked and eaten underground. However, in very wet conditions, when earthworms are found on the surface, the slugs may attack them there. The grip of the needlelike teeth of the radula of the slug is so strong that when the earthworm prey retreats to its burrow, the slug is also drawn below the surface, where it continues to eat the worm.

Conservation status

* Not listed in IUCN red list - not evaluated (NE) [2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. . Cited 3 March 2007.]


External links

* [ Casual Intruders] , from which the initial information for this article was taken.

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