Lehmannia marginata

Family

Limacidae

Species

Lehmannia marginata (Muller, 1774)

Common Name

Tree slug

Description

The tree slug is variable in color, ranging from grey to reddish. There is a short keel at the tip of the tail. The mantle is very large in relation to the size of the animal (1/3 the length of the body). There are 2 dark-colored stripes on each side of the animal. The lower stripe often branches and may be difficult to see. On the other hand, the mantle has three stripes, with the middle stripe being paler than the other two. The pale area between the bands on the mantle forms a lyre shape (horseshoe-shaped). The pneumostome (breathing pore) is located on the right, in the posterior third of the mantle. The sole is tripartite (grey with a darker center). The mucus is clear and watery. There is a characteristic pale stripe running down the midline of Lehmannia marginata, and this character is very useful to distinguish this species from L. valentiana. However if there is any doubt, the genitalia should be used to confirm the identity of the specimen. There is a European species called Lehmannia nyctelia that can be confused with this species. Genitalic characters are provided below for species determination.

The following species can be separated by dissection and observation of their genitalia:

Lehmannia marginata: The appendix on the penis of this species tapers to a point. It should be noted that the appendix might be inverted in this species.

L. valentiana: The appendix on the penis of this species is somewhat tubular or the apex may appear expanded.

L. nyctelia: The appendix is lacking in this species.

Native Range

Europe

Distribution

North America:

  • U.S.: Oklahoma

Australasia: New Zealand

Europe

Ecology

This species inhabits gardens, forests, and open habitat but are rarely encountered in intensively cultivated lowland areas. Lehmannia marginata consusumes algae, lichen and mushroom. In the absence of prefered food material this species is reported to consume other mollusc species that are already dead, but are not known to attack other gastropods. Clutches of between 8-30 eggs are deposited in the soil and depending on temperature may incubate for approximately 35-130 days. Maturity is achieved in 8-10 months and longevity is approximately 2.5-3 years.

Synonyms

  • Limax arborum Bouchard-Chantereaux, 1838
  • Limax livonicus Schrenk, 1848
  • Limax marginatus Muller, 1774

References

Abbes 2010; Anderson 2005; Branson 1980; Cowie 1997; Forsyth 2004; Horsak 2004; Kantor et al. 2009; Kerney et al. 1979; McDonnell et al. 2009; Thomas et al. 2010

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