Limacus flavus




Limacus flavus (Linnaeus, 1758)

Common Name

Yellow gardenslug, Cellar slug, Tawny garden slug


As the common name suggests, this slug is yellow in appearance with grayish-green mottling covering the entire body. In contrast, the tentacles are pale bluish or bluish black in color. Adults of the slug range in length from 75 to 115 mm or more. The oval mantle has ridges that appear to have a fingerprint-like pattern. The base color of the mantle is black or dark gray, and the reticulations are yellow-white in color. The pneumostome is located behind the midline of the mantle and is surrounded by a halo. The keel only appears close to the end of the slug's tail. Interestingly, the body mucus is yellowish and very adhesive, while the foot mucus is colorless. The sole of the foot is yellow-white.

Native Range

Southern and Western Europe


North America:

  • U.S.: California, Kansas, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Wisconsin

Pacific Islands: Hawaii

Australasia: New Zealand



Limacus flavus prefers dark, moist habitats, where it can lay between 12 to 32 eggs per clutch, totaling 60-138 per individual, with each egg measuring 5.0-6.3 mm. This species can be found in diverse habitats ranging from compost piles, gardens and woodlands to greenhouses. The diet includes lichen, fungi and plant material. This species has been reported as an occasional pest in gardens. It has been recorded that Limacus flavus display food aversions when the food is suspected to be noxious. This sensitization can be displayed for up to 3 weeks without error.


  • Limax flavus Linnaeus, 1758. Systema Naturae, Edito decima, reformata 1: 692. Type locality Sweden.
  • Limax variegatus Draparnaud, 1801. Tabl. Moll. 103.
  • Limacella ungicula Brard, 1815. Hist. terr. fluv. Environs Paris: 115.
  • Limax megaldontes Quoy and Gaimard, 1824. Voyage l'Uranie et la Physic. Zool.: 428.
  • Limax umbrosus Philippi, 1844. Enum. Moll. Siciliae: 102.
  • Krynickillus maculatus Kaleniczenko, 1851. Bull. Soc. Imp. Nat. Moscou 24: 226.
  • Limax olivacius Gould, 1852. U.S. Expl. Exped. XII: 4.
  • Limax erenbergii Bourguignat, 1853. Cat. Moll. Saulcy: 3.
  • Krynickia maculata P. Fischer, 1856. J. Conchyliol. 5: 69.
  • Limax deshayesi Bourguignat, 1861. Rev. Mag. Zool. (2)13: 302.
  • Limax companyoi Bourguignat, 1863. Rev. Mag. Zool. (2)15: 179.
  • Limax breckworthianus Lehmann, 1864. Malakozool. Bl. 12: 105.
  • Limax beaticus Mabille, 1868. Rev. Mag. Zool. (2)20: 145.


Anderson 2005; Barker 1979; Branson 1962; Branson 1980; Cowie 1997; Forsyth 2004; Kantor et al. 2009; Kerney et al. 1979; Landauer and Cardullo 1983; McDonnell et al. 2009; Roth and Sadeghian 2006; Thomas et al. 2010

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