Records of the slugs Ariolimax columbianus (Ariolimacidae) and Prophysaon foliolatum (Arionidae) imported into Sweden

Ted von Proschwitz, e-mail:

Museum of Natural History Göteborg, Box 7283, 40235 Göteborg, Sweden

Heike Reise, e-mail:

Senckenberg Museum of Natural History Görlitz, Am Museum 1, 02826 Görlitz, Germany

Bettina Schlitt

Senckenberg Museum of Natural History Görlitz, Am Museum 1, 02826 Görlitz, Germany

Karin Breugelmans

Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Vautierstraat 29, 1000 Brussels, Belgium

Two North American slug species are reported from three locations in southern Sweden: three records (in 2005, 2014 and 2015) of Ariolimax columbianus (Gould) and one 2005 record of Prophysaon foliolatum (Gould). The record of P. foliolatum is the first for Europe. In all cases it is highly probable or proven that the slugs had been accidentally imported with ornamental plants from North America, particularly salal, Gaultheria shallon Pursh. Salal is collected on a massive scale from the rainforests of the Pacific Northwest, particularly in Canada and Washington State, and exported as green filler for floral arrangements. The harvest, storage and transport conditions seem perfectly suitable for these slugs, which are not synanthropic but live in natural habitats where salal thrives. We point out that these apparently uncontrolled imports might open the door to the introduction of new, non-synanthropic species.

Key words
terrestrial slugs; introduced species; salal; North America; Europe; bananaslug; banana slug; taildropper

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Folia Malacologica (2017) 25: 267-271
First published on-line: 2017-12-01 00:00:00
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