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Black Slug1 locationReptile/Amphibian
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Jul 14 2014
Kongeveien - Lyngdal Norway
TypeReptile/Amphibian
FamilyArionidae - Roundback slug
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Arion ater

The black slug also known as black arion, European black slug, or large black slug, scientific name Arion ater, is a species of large land slug, a terrestrial slug in the family Arionidae, the roundback slugs.

The size of the slug varies from 10 to 15 cm. Maturity is reached at about 2.5 cm.

The color of the black slug is generally deep black, but the colouration is very variable and this slug can even be white. The general trend is for a darker pigmentation the farther north the species is found. The classification of brown-coloured and rust-coloured "black" slugs is somewhat disputed; the brown variation is sometimes considered to be a separate species, Arion rufus (Red Slug). Young specimens of black slug do have a brown colour, which is later lost if and when the slug changes color to the mature state

The foot-fringe is black. The tubercles large and elongate. The sole is blackish grey. Juveniles are ivory whitish with black head, but soon become greyish, half-grown animals are often black like adults.Genitalia:Atrium and vagina considerably narrower than spermatheca, oviduct narrow, spermatheca spherical.

The slug covers itself in a thick foul-tasting mucus which serves as both protection against predators as well as a measure to keep moist. It is somewhat difficult to wash off.

Like other members of the family Arionidae, the black slug has a pneumostome (breathing hole) on the right side of its mantle through which it breathes. This mantle is the part which in snails secrete a shell, and in this species of slug the mantle contains a resilient protective structure of calcareous granules.

Source: Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_slug
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