Veronicellidae: Veronicella spp.

Family

Veronicellidae

Species

Veronicella floridana (Leidy, 1868)

V. cubensis (Pfeiffer, 1840)

V. sloanei (Cuvier, 1817)

V. moreleti (Crosse & Fischer, 1872)

Common Name

Veronicella aff. floridana: Florida leatherleaf slug

V. cubensis: Cuban slug

V. sloanei: Sloan slug, Jamaican slug, Pancake slug

V. moreleti: Tan leatherleaf, Morelet slug

Description

Veronicellid species can only be reliably distinguished from each other through dissections and observation of the genitalia.

Veronicella aff. floridana: This species may be distinguished from Veronicella cubensis by the genitalia.

V. cubensis: The body color of this slug is variable. There may be multiple shades of brown with two dark stripes running down the length of its back. The lines may be solid or broken up into spots. There may also be an albino form. Another thin, pale white stripe also runs down the midline of the animal. The body texture also varies, where, the body may appear smooth or granular. This slug can usually be distinguished from other species of Veronicellids by the presence its blue-gray eye tentacles. There is also a pale brown area around the eyespots. Adults will measure between 50-70 mm in length, although lengths of up to 120 mm have been recorded.

V. sloanei: Similarly to the other species of this genus, this animal has variable body color, ranging from albino, to tan to grey with varying degrees of grey markings. It has the potential to attain a maximum length of 120 mm. The tentacles of this species are typically blue-grey with pale brown tips.

V. moreleti: This brown-colored species usually does not have a dorso-median stripe. Genitalia: The basal section of the penis is cylindrical. The apex is twisted and the entire region is a hardened mass.

Native Range

Veronicella floridana: Southern Florida and Greater Antilles

V. cubensis: Greater Antilles (Cuba)

V. sloanei: Greater Antilles (Jamaica)

V. moreleti: South America

Distribution

Veronicella aff. floridana:

North America:

  • U.S.: Alabama, Florida; Louisiana, Texas

Central America: Mexico

Caribbean: Puerto Rico, Cuba, Dominica, Jamaica

V. cubensis:

North America:

  • U.S.: California

Pacific Islands

Caribbean: Cuba, Hispaniola, Puerto Rico, Saint Kitts, Nevis, Dominica, Barbados

V. sloanei:

Caribbean: Jamaica, Bermuda, Dominican Republic, Grand Cayman, Guadeloupe, Dominica, Barbados, Saint Vincent, Saint Lucia, Cuba

V. moreleti:

North America:

  • U.S.: This species has been intercepted in Vermont

Central and South America

Ecology

Pest species have been known to consume both ornamental and agricultural crops: melon, pumpkin, pepper, eggplant, cabbage, cassava, taro, sweet potato, yam, papaya, banana, star fruit, mango, noni, citrus and coffee.

Veronicella aff. floridana: This slug is known as a pest of potatoes in Cuba and that of beans, tomatoes and ornamental plants elsewhere.

V. cubensis: This animal is a serious pest of agricultural and ornamental crops (e.g., papaya production in Hawaii) especially in the Pacific Basin. Crops include but are not limited to the following: banana, cabbage, cassava, citrus, coffee, eggplant, mango, noni, papaya, pepper, pumpkin, satar fruit, sweet potato, taro, yam. It can be found in very moist habitats (e.g., near water bodies).

V. sloanei: This opportunistic pest is quite aggressive and consumes a wide variety of ornamental and agricultural crops. Crops consumed by this pest includes but is not limited to the following: leafy vegetables (e.g., spinach, cabbage, lettuce), dasheen, banana, plantain, tannia, papaya, citrus, bean, peanut, Hibiscus sp. and Bougainvillea sp. This pest can also remove the bark of several plants (e.g., Datura sp. and gardenia), therefore girdling the plant. It will lay clutches of 10-12 eggs in a chain.

V. moreleti: This slug has been described from multiple habitats from lowland jungles to open savannas. It is viviparous; therefore, eggs of this species are never intercepted. It has been recorded as a pest of coffee and cacao in Mexico.

Synonyms

Veronicella aff. floridana (Leidy, 1868):

  • Leidyula floridana (Leidy & Binney, 1851), 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.
  • Vaginulus floridanus Leidy & Binney, Binney 1851, The terrestrial air-breathing mollusks of the United States and the adjacent territories of North America. Vol. I. A.A. Gould (ed.) Charles Little and James Brown, Boston, MA. pp. 198, 251, pl. IV.
  • Veronicella floridana (Binney, 1851) in Binney, 1885. A manual of American land shells. Bulletin No. 28 of the United States National Museum, p. 528.

V. cubensis (Pfeiffer, 1840):

  • Onchidium cubense Pfeiffer, 1840.
  • O. cubensis
  • Veronicella cubensis Thome, 1975.

V. sloanei (Cuvier, 1817):

  • Vaginulus sloanei Ferussac
  • V. laevis Blainville, 1817

V. moreleti (Crosse & Fischer, 1872):

  • Leidyula moreleti (Crosse & Fischer, 1872)
  • Vaginulus moreleti Fischer, 1871 in Fischer, P. 1871. Revision des especes du genere Vaginula Ferussac. Nouvelles Archives du Museum d'Historie Naturelle. Paris. 7: 147-175.
  • Vaginulus kreideli Semper, 1885 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.
  • Veronicella (Leidyula) moreleti (Crosse and Fischer, 1872) in Baker, 1925. North American Veronicellidae. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. 77: 157-184.
  • Vaginulus mexicanus Strebel and Pfieffer, 1882 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.

References

Cowie 1997; Cowie et al. 2008; Cowie et al. 2009; Fields and Robinson 2004; Lechmere Guppy 1866; McDonnell et al. 2008; Naranjo-García et al. 2007; Neck 1976; Perez and Cordeiro 2008; Robinson et al. 2009; Rosenberg and Muratov 2006; Stange 2004; Thome 1989; Thome 1993; Whitney et al. 2004

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