Deroceras laeve




Deroceras laeve (O.F. Muller, 1774)

Common Name

Marsh slug, Meadow slug, Brown slug


The meadow slug is a small slug approximately 25-35 mm long. It ranges in color from dark brown or yellowish to almost black, while the head and tentacles posses a characteristic smoky, bluish black color. The overall body shape of the slug is cylindrical, elongated and ends in a short keel. The mantle is oval in shape with fine concentric striations without spots or blotches. The back of the slug is covered with conspicuous elongated tubercles and furrows. The foot is narrow and whitish in color and produces mucus that is thin, watery, non-adhesive and colorless. It may be possible to distinguish this species from D. panormitanum by the slope of the tail. The tail of this species is bluntly rounded, while the tail of D. panormitanum gradually tapers to a point. In order to confirm the identity of this species, dissection and observation of the genitalia are required.

Deroceras agreste. The penis (p) of this species is broad with only a single appendix.

Deroceras caucasicum: The penis is broad and has two appendixes at the tip with the vas deferens emerges between them. The posterior edge of the penis is pigmented (dark-colored) and there is a hard "clam-shaped" shell-like plate inside the penis.

Deroceras laeve: The penis of this species is long, narrow and mostly twisted, with only a single appendix. It should be noted that a penis may be absent in some specimens.

Deroceras panormitanum: The penis in the species is broad and markedly bilobed with 4-6 appendixes.

Deroceras reticulatum: The penis (p) in the species is broad with only a single, irregularly branched appendix.

Native Range



North America:

  • U. S.: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin
  • Canada: Newfoundland, British Columbia, Alberta, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Quebec

Caribbean: Jamaica


South America

Asia: Sri Lanka

Pacific Islands: Hawaii

Australasia: New Zealand


This species primarily inhabits moist habitats such as wet marshes, woods and meadows, and sometimes found in greenhouses. This species has the potential to become a garden pest as it consumes living and dead plant material. Deroceras laeve reproduces year round, and generally becomes more active approximately three weeks before other species in the spring. The animal reproduces by self-fertilization although outcrossing has been recorded. The round to oval eggs are laid in clutches of approximately 33 (often times much fewer). They measure between 1-3 mm, and often hatch in 10-15 days. The translucent eggs are deposited in crevices in the soil or leaf litter. As the eggs mature, the color changes to a creamish color.


  • Limax laevis Muller, 1774, Verm. Terr. Et fluv. Hist., 2: 2 (Denmark)
  • L. gracilis Rafinesque, 1820, Ann. of Nat., 1: 10 (near Hendersonville, Kentucky, in woods).
  • L. campestris A. Binney, 1842, Proc. Bost. Soc. N. H., 1:52 (New England States, New York, Ohio, Missouri): 1842, Bost. Jour. N. H., 4:169; 1851, Terr. Moll., 2:41, pl.64, fig. 3.
  • L. weinlandi Heynemann, 1862, Zeits. F. Malak., 10: 212, pl. 3, fig. 1 (North America)
  • L. campestris var. occidentalis Cooper, 1872, Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Phila., p.146, pl. 3, figs. C, 1-5 (California); Cf. W. G. binney, Terr. Moll., 5: 150, pl. 1, fig. L; 3d Suppl., Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool., 19: 206, pl. 8, fig. H (living animal).
  • L. montanus Ingersoll, 1875, Bull. U. S. Geol. And Geogr. Surv. Terr., (2) no. 1: 130 (Hot Sulphur Springs, Colo.); W.G. Binney, 1878, Terr. Moll., 5:152, pl. xii, fig. B (genitalia). Not Limax monotanus Leydig, 1871.
  • L. costaneus Ingersoll, 1875, 1.c., p. 131. (Blue River vally, Colorado)
  • L. ingersolli W.G. Binney, 1875, Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Phila., p. 176; Ann. Lyc. N. H. of N. Y., 10: 169.
  • L. hyperboreus [? Westerleund, 1876, Nachrbl. D. Malak. Ges., 8:97; 1877, K. Svenska Vet.-Akad. Handl., 14, no. 12, pl. 21
  • Agriolimax montanus Ing., Cockerell, 1888, Jour. of Conch., 5: 358, with forms typicus, intermedius and tristis, p. 359.
  • Limax hemphili W.G. Binney, 1890, 3d Suppl., Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool., 19: 205, pl. viii, fig. E; pl I, fig. 13; pl. ii, fig. 3; 1892, 4th Suppl., Bull. M.C.Z. 22: 166, pl.3, fig. I. with var. pictus.
  • Agriolimax campestris zonatipes Cockerell, 1892, The Conchologist. 2: 72.
  • Agriolimax hemphilli ashmuni Pilsbry & Vanatta, in Pilsbry & Ferriss, 1910. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Phil. For 1909, 61: 512, fig. 11 a-c (Huachuca Mts., Arizona, in Miller (type loc.), Brown and Tanner canyons and Nogales, Arizona; Pilsbry & Ferris, 1910 same Proc, 62: 130 (Chiricahua Mts., Arizona, at about 8000 ft.).
  • Agriolimax psudodioicus Velitchkovsky, 1910.
  • Deroceras schulzi Tzvetkov et Matyokin, 1946.


Anderson 2005; Branson 1959; Branson 1962; Branson 1980; Cowie 1997; Cowie et al. 2008; Forsyth 2004; Horsak 2004; Kantor et al. 2009; Kerney et al. 1979; Meyer and Cowie 2010; Naggs et al. 2003; Perez and Cordeiro 2008; Pilsbry 1939; Rosenberg and Muratov 2006; Wiktor 2000

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