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European red slug

The European red slug, Arion rufus L, is common to sites in the Pacific Northwest.

It can be distinguished from other slugs by the placement of the respiratory pore (the round hole on the right side near the head) before the mid-point of the mantle; a back without a keel (ridge); and heavily wrinkled skin. It is generally 70-100 mm in length and variable in color ranging from reddish, orange, brown or black. The foot fringe is mostly red with stripes. The optics tentacles are dark (Godan, 1983).

Several other Arion species can be found in the Pacific Northwest including A. circumscriptus Johnston, grey garden slug ; A. ater L., the European black slug; A. hortensis Ferussac, garden slug; and A. intermedius Normand, hedgehog slug (Gordon, 1994).


Original version: <10 February 2004)

Last revision <3 August 2016>

Author: R.L. Rosetta, Extension Nursery Integrated Pest Management, Department of Horticulture, Oregon State University


image of European black slug
Photo: Rosetta, OSU
E. red slug profile
Photo: Rosetta, OSU
A. rufus
Photo: Rosetta, OSU
Arion rufus

A. rufus
Photo: Rosetta, OSU
European red slug eating Arum italicum
European red slug eating
Mating European red slugs
European red slugs mating
Website editor:
Robin Rosetta
Page last modified 8/3/16

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