Gray Garden Slug

Deroceras reticulatum (?)

Gray Garden Slug, Deroceras, photo by Mike Plagens

This slug was photographed in Phoenix, Arizona, USA. Habitat is a compost heap that receives vegetable kitchen scraps.

These snails (slugs are simply snails that lack shells) were introduced to the cities of the Sonoran Desert from the Eastern United States as human pioneers and homesteaders moved in. Before that the Gray Garden Slug was a denizen of Europe. Thus slugs are among the many creatures that have invaded habitats around the globe following in the footsteps of man. For many years these slugs were classified as Agriolimax reticulatus.

In the photo at left the eyes are at lower right upon a pair fleshy stalks. As snails they are classified as Gastropods, or ‘Stomach Foots’; they move along on a trail of mucus secreted by a single pad on the venter.

Family: Limacidae

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 10 May 2011,
updated 17 Sept. 2018.