RESEARCH PAPER
Deroceras panormitanum and congeners from Malta and Sicily, with a redescription of the widespread pest slug as Deroceras invadens n. sp.
 
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Senckenberg Museum of Natural History Görlitz, Germany
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Heike Reise   

Senckenberg Museum of Natural History Görlitz, PF 300 154, D-02806 Görlitz, Germany
Submission date: 2011-04-18
Final revision date: 2011-07-15
Acceptance date: 2011-07-16
Publication date: 2011-12-11
 
Folia Malacol. 2011;19(4):201–223
 
KEYWORDS
ABSTRACT
The name Deroceras panormitanum is generally applied to a terrestrial slug that has spread worldwide and can be a pest; earlier this tramp species had been called Deroceras caruanae. Neither name is appropriate. The taxonomic descriptions apply to a species from Sicily and Malta. This true D. panormitanum and the tramp species are distinct in morphology and mating behaviour. For instance, the penial caecum of D. panormitanum is more pointed, everting faster at copulation. The size of the penial lobe varies considerably in preserved specimens but is always prominent at copulation. D. panormitanum is distinct from the Maltese endemic Deroceras golcheri, but a phylogeny based on mtDNA COI sequences implies that they are more closely related than is the tramp species. D. golcheri has a still closer counterpart on Sicily, but we leave the taxonomy of this "species X" unresolved. In interspecific crosses, D. panormitanum may transfer sperm to the partner's sarcobelum whereas the partner fails to evert its penis (D. golcheri) or to transfer sperm (the tramp species). Names previously applied to the tramp species originally referred to D. panormitanum or are otherwise invalid, so it is here formally redescribed as D. invadens. Deroceras giustianum Wiktor, 1998 is synonymised with D. panormitanum.
 
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