Arion (gastropod)

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Arion rufus
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Gastropoda
Subclass: Heterobranchia
Order: Stylommatophora
Family: Arionidae
Genus: Arion
A. Férussac, 1819[1]
Type species
Arion empiricorum
A. Férussac, 1819

Arion is a genus of air-breathing land slugs in the family Arionidae, the roundback slugs. Most species of this Palearctic genus are native to the Iberian Peninsula.[2]

Species can be difficult to distinguish from one another upon cursory examination, because individuals of a species can vary in color and there are few obvious differences between taxa.[3] The color of an individual can be influenced by its diet.[4]

Some Arion are known as pests, such as A. lusitanicus auct. non Mabille (= A. vulgaris), which damages agricultural crops and ornamental plants, and A. rufus, a familiar garden pest.[5] Arion slugs are often transported internationally in shipments of plant products and mushrooms.[6] Arion slugs have been identified in North America and Australia as invasive species, altering the plants of ecosystems through seed predation and competing with native slugs.[7]


There are approximately 40 species in the genus.[4][8]

Species include:

Also included[edit]


The name Arion is from Neo-Latin, from the Greek areíones, a “kind of snail or slug.”[11]


  1. ^ Férussac, A. E. and G. Deshayes. 1819–1851. Histoire naturelle générale et particulière des mollusques terrestres et fluviatiles, tant des espèces que l'on trouve aujourd'hui vivantes, que des dépouilles fossiles de celles qui n'existent plus; classés d'après les caractères essentiels que présentent ces animaux et leurs coquilles. pp. Tome 1: 8 + 184 pp.; Tome 2 (1): 402 pp.; 2 (2): 260 + 22 + 16 pp.; Atlas 1: 70 pl.; Atlas 2: 166 + 5 pl.. Paris. (J.-B. Bailliere).
  2. ^ Quinteiro, J., et al. (2005). Phylogeny of slug species of the genus Arion: evidence of monophyly of Iberian endemics and of the existence of relict species in Pyrenean refuges. Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research 43(2), 139-48.
  3. ^ Skujienė, G. and M. Soroka. (2003). A comparison of different DNA extraction methods for slugs (Mollusca: Pulmonata). Archived 2016-03-04 at the Wayback Machine Ekologija 1, 12-16.
  4. ^ a b Jordaens, K., et al. (2001). Food-induced body pigmentation questions the taxonomic value of colour in the self-fertilizing slug Carinarion spp.[dead link] Journal of Molluscan Studies 67(2), 161-67.
  5. ^ Soroka, M., et al. (2008). Distribution and genetic diversity of the terrestrial slugs Arion lusitanicus Mabille, 1868 and Arion rufus (Linnaeus, 1758) in Poland based on mitochondrial DNA. Folia Biologica 57(1-2), 1-2.
  6. ^ Barr, N. B., et al. (2009). Application of a DNA barcode using the 16S rRNA gene to diagnose pest Arion species in the USA. Journal of Molluscan Studies 75(2), 187-91.
  7. ^ Zemanova, Miriam; Broenniman, Olivier; Guisan, Antoine; Knop, Eva; Heckel, Gerard (13 June 2018). "Slimy invasion: Climatic niche and current and future biogeography of Arion slug invaders". Diversity and Distributions: A Journal of Conservation Biogeography. 24 (11). Retrieved 12 July 2020.
  8. ^ "Arion". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 4 November 2023.
  9. ^ a b Manganelli, G., et al. (2010). The status of Arion alpinus Pollonera 1887, and re-description of Arion obesoductus Reischütz 1973 (Gastropoda, Arionidae). Journal of Conchology 40, 269-76.
  10. ^ Jordaens, K., et al. (2010). Arion transsylvanus (Mollusca, Pulmonata, Arionidae): rediscovery of a cryptic species. Zoologica Scripta 39(4), 343-62. doi:10.1111/j.1463-6409.2010.00425.x.
  11. ^ "Definition of ARION". Retrieved 11 August 2021.