Vaginula alte Férussac, 1821
Laevicaulis alte is a round, dark-coloured slug with no shell, 7 or 8 cm long. Its skin is slightly tuberculated. The central keel is beige in colour.
This slug has a unique, very narrow foot; juvenile specimens have a foot 1 mm wide and adult specimens have a foot that is only 4 or 5 mm wide.
This species is probably indigenous to Africa (western Africa and eastern Africa).
- southern Asia
- Pratas Islands, Taiwan
- United States (Hawaii)
- islands in the Indian Ocean
- Australia (since 1889)
- and others
This species is already established in the USA, and is considered to represent a potentially serious threat as a pest, an invasive species which could negatively affect agriculture, natural ecosystems, human health or commerce. Therefore it has been suggested that this species be given top national quarantine significance in the USA.
This species lives in dry areas, mostly at lower altitudes.
What this slug eats in the wild is not known. In captivity this slug will eat:
- Dandelion leaves
- Tomatoes - it nibbles the skin first and then the pulp
- When other items are not available, it will eat dill
In captivity it will not eat:
This slug hatches from eggs. This species has several adaptations for living in dry conditions: a rounded shape with as small as possible surface area, and a narrow foot to reduce evaporation.
Juvenile specimens search for food nearly always at night, and stay buried in the soil during the day. Larger specimens are active during the day sometimes. This slug can grow up from 0.5 cm to approximately 4 cm in length in 7 months.
- Rowson B., Warren B. H. & Ngereza C. F. (2010). "Terrestrial molluscs of Pemba Island, Zanzibar, Tanzania, and its status as an "oceanic" island". ZooKeys 70: 1-39. doi:10.3897/zookeys.70.762.
- Wu S.-P., Hwang C.-C., Huang H.-M., Chang H.-W., Lin Y.-S. & Lee P.-F. (2007). "Land Molluscan Fauna of the Dongsha Island with Twenty New Recorded Species". Taiwania 52(2): 145-151. PDF.
- Cowie R. H., Dillon R. T., Robinson D. G. & Smith J. W. (2009). "Alien non-marine snails and slugs of priority quarantine importance in the United States: A preliminary risk assessment". American Malacological Bulletin 27: 113-132. PDF.
- articles at PubMed
- Profile at ITIS
- Distribution in Australia
- Distribution in United States
- In English and in Chinese
- Drawing of ventral part of body, photo (In Japanese)
- Laevicaulis alte at Samoan Snail Project
- Photo (Japanese)
- ,  (Japanese)
- Photo (Japanese)