Arion intermedius

Family

Arionidae

Species

Arion intermedius (Normand, 1852)

Common Name

Hedgehog Arion, Hedgehog slug

Description

Arion intermedius is one of the smaller Arion species. This slug ranges in length from 15-20 mm long with a yellow to grey body and dark grey tentacles and head. The contracted body of this specimen is not bell-shaped in cross-section. Upon close observation the tubercles are noted to form sharp, transparent points, giving the animal a prickly appearance. The tail of the slug has a pale, narrow foot fringe and also lacks a keel. The sole of the foot is quite distinguishable from other slug species in North America by being yellow-grey to pale orange in color. The mucus produced by this species is pale yellow to bright yellow in color. Though this species is quite distinguishable, it can be mistaken for juveniles of other species (e.g., Arion rufus).

Native Range

Western Europe

Distribution

North America:

  • U.S.
  • Canada

Pacific Islands: Hawaii

Australasia: New Zealand

Asia: Sri Lanka

Europe: Western and Central Europe

Ecology

The diet of Arion intermedius includes living plant tissue and fungi. In areas where it has been introduced, this species can be very destructive. It has been recorded to consume ornamental plants and field crops (e.g. wheat, corn). Self-fertilization is the primary means of reproduction although out-crossing has been noted to occur. Habitats for this species include fields, grassy roadsides, mature gardens and woods. It is capable of living up to a year.

Synonyms

References

Forsyth 2004; Grimm et al. 2009; Kantor et al. 2009; Kerney et al. 1979; Meyer and Cowie 2010; Naggs et al. 2003

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