Veronicellidae: Sarasinula spp.




Sarasinula plebeia (Fischer, 1871)

S. dubia (Semper, 1885)

S. marginata (Semper, 1885)

Common Name

Sarasinula plebeia: Caribbean leatherleaf slug, Bean slug

S. dubia: None reported.

S. marginata: None reported.


Sarasinula plebeia: This species is grey-brown with small black markings. It can attain a maximum length of 70 mm. The Caribbean leatherleaf slug can be mistaken for the Florida leatherleaf slug (Veronicella aff. floridana), but S. plebeia can be distinguished by the location of the female genital pore (away from the foot) and the absence of the pale median line down the back of the animal.

Native Range

Sarasinula plebeia: Brazil and the West Indies


Sarasinula plebeia:

North America:

  • U.S.: Florida

South and Central America

Pacific Islands: New Caledonia

Caribbean: Dominica, Jamaica, Grenadines (Canouan)

S. marginata:

South America: Brazil, Peru, Columbia

Caribbean: Dominica, Guadeloupe


Sarasinula plebeia: This is a serious pest of agriculture in Central America. In South America this slug consumes legume pods and flowers, as well as the foliage of beans, sweet potato, cabbage, Cucurbita sp., tomato, coffee, weedy species in the genus Borreria, and the fruit of papaya. In many cases, this pest species has been known to eat young plants to the ground on farms. Plant nurseries that grow tree species like mahogany and red cedar have also been affected by this species. This slug can transmit the nematode Angiostrongylus costaricensis, which is pathogenic to humans.

Sarasinula plebeia can bury itself in the soil to a depth of up to 100 cm in order to protect itself from desiccation during the dry season. In Texas it has shown the potential to survive sub-freezing temperatures. This hermaphroditic slugs can reproduce by self-fertilization. It can lay up to 80 eggs per clutch. The oval, translucent eggs have an incubation time of 20-24 days at 27 degrees Celsius. Adulthood can be attained in 2-5 months and the adults can live for more than a year.

S. marginata: This species has been reported to feed on dasheen (Colocasia esculenta) in the field. This slug is a minor pest of agriculture in Dominica. The genitalia may be used to distinguish this species from Sarasinula plebeia and S. dubia.


Sarasinula plebeia:

  • Sarasinula dubia (Semper)
  • Vaginulus plebeius Fischer, 1868 in Fischer, 1868. Diagnoses de deux Limaciens de la Nouvelle Caledonie. Journal de Conchyliologie, Paris. 16: 145-146.
  • Vaginula plebeja Fischer, 1868 in Aguayo, 1964. Notas sobre la distribucion de la babosa Vaginulus plebejus, Mollusca: Veronicellidae. Caribbean Journal of Science. 4: 549-551.
  • Sarsinula plebeja Grimpe and Hoffmn, 1925 in Thome, 1971. Redescricao dos tipos de Veronicellidae (Mollusca, Gastropod) neotropicais: VII especies depositadas no Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris, Franca. Iheringia (Zool.) 40: 27-52.
  • Vaginula behni Semper, 1885 in Thome, 1989. Annotated and illustrated preliminary list of the Veronicellidae (Mollusca: Gastropod) of the Antilles, and Central and North America. Journal of Medical and Applied Malacology. 1: 11-28.
  • Sarasinula lemei Thome, 1967 inThome, 1989. Annotated and illustrated preliminary list of the Veronicellidae (Mollusca: Gastropod) of the Antilles, and Central and North America. Journal of Medical and Applied Malacology. 1: 11-28.
  • Sarasinula plebeia Thome, 1993 in Thome, et al. 1997, Annotataed list of Veronicellidae from the collections of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia and the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., U.S.A. (Mollusca: Gatropoda: Soleolifera). Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington. 110: 520-536.
  • Angustipes dubia
  • Angustipes dubius
  • Angustipes plebeius
  • Imerimia plebeja
  • Sarasomia plebeia
  • Vaginula dubia
  • Vaginula moerchi
  • Vaginula plebeius
  • Vaginulus dubius
  • Vaginulus plebejus
  • Vernicella plebeius
  • Viginula dubia
  • Viginula moerchi


Cowie et al. 2008; Naranjo-García et al. 2007; Robinson et al. 2009; Rosenberg and Muratov 2006; Rueda et al. 2004; Solem 1964; Thome 1989

Posted on