Garden Slug - Arion hortensis


25 - 35mm. This slug belongs to a species-complex called the Arion hortensis group, which is comprised of Arion hortensis, A. owenii and A. distinctus. However A. owenii has not been found in VC55. Both A. hortensis and A. distinctus  are dark grey or bluish grey (though A. owenii is tawny brown) with a dark lateral stripe. Arion hortensis has a darker back and contrasting paler sides with few gold speckles on its tubercles. The tentacles are dark grey and translucent. It has an orange sole and orange/yellow mucus, the same as A. distinctus.

Similar Species

Arion distinctus - uniformly dark grey but usually with many gold speckles on its tubercles. Tentacles dark grey and not translucent.

Arion hortensis - more contrasting black back and paler sides with fewer gold speckles on its tubercles. Tentacles dark grey but translucent, with a warm glow.

Photo ID?

Most common on cultivated land, but can also be found in woods and gardens.

Life History

Eats any plants near the ground, and is a serious pest of strawberries, lettuces and seedlings.

UK Status

Common and widespread in Britain.

VC55 Status

Common in Leicestershire and Rutland.

Leicestershire & Rutland Map

UK Map