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Temporal range: Lutetian-Recent[1]
Testacella haliotidea.jpg
Shelled Slug, Testacella haliotidea
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Gastropoda
Clade: Heterobranchia
Clade: Euthyneura
Order: Panpulmonata
Clade: Eupulmonata
Clade: Stylommatophora
Informal group: Sigmurethra
Family: Testacellidae
J. E. Gray, 1840[3]
Genus: Testacella
Draparnaud, 1801[2]
6 extant species cf.
Testacella maugei in the contracted state

Testacella is genus of small to medium-large, predatory, air-breathing, land slugs. They are terrestrial gastropod mollusks in the family Testacellidae, the shelled slugs. They are not often seen because they live underground.

Testacella is the only genus in the family, in other words it is a monotypic family. Testacella is the type genus of the family Testacellidae.[5]


Species within this genus of slugs live in north Africa, southern and western Europe, and Britain.[1]


Species within the genus Testacella include:

Subgenus Testacella Draparnaud, 1801

Subgenus Testacelloides A. J. Wagner, 1914[6][7]


These slugs have a very small, ear-shaped shell, which is situated far back on their bodies.

In the family Testacellidae, the number of haploid chromosomes lies between 31 and 35 (according to the values in this table).[8]


These slugs are rarely observed, but they tend to live in gardens and farms where there is rich soil and a lot of earthworms.

Life habits[edit]

These slugs live underground and hunt earthworms. They are usually only seen when they are forced up to the surface because the soil has become completely saturated with rain.

Drawing from 1896 showing the three species of Testacella found in Great Britain
1 - Testacella haliotidea
2 - Testacella scutulum
3 - Testacella maugei


  1. ^ a b "Family summary for Testacellidae". AnimalBase, last modified 8 August 2010, accessed 28 June 2011.
  2. ^ Draparnaud J. P. R. (1801). Tableau des mollusques terrestres et fluviatiles de la France. 116 pp. Montpellier, Paris. (Renaud; Bossange, Masson & Besson). page 33, 99.
  3. ^ Gray J. E. (1840). [A new edition of] A manual of the land and fresh-water shells of the British Isles by W. Turton. Longman, Orme, Brown, Green, and Longmans, London. ix + 324 pp., 12 plates. page 109.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "Species in genus Testacella" (n=6). AnimalBase, accessed 19 January 2011.
  5. ^ Bouchet P.; Rocroi J.-P.; Frýda J.; Hausdorf B.; Ponder W.; Valdés Á. & Warén A. (2005). "Classification and nomenclator of gastropod families". Malacologia: International Journal of Malacology. Hackenheim, Germany: ConchBooks. 47 (1-2): 1–397. ISBN 3-925919-72-4. ISSN 0076-2997. 
  6. ^ Wagner A. J. (1914). Anz. Akad. Wiss. Wien 51: 335.
  7. ^ "Testacelloides A.J. Wagner, 1914". Fauna Europaea, last update 27 January 2011, accessed 28 June 2011.
  8. ^ Barker G. M.: Gastropods on Land: Phylogeny, Diversity and Adaptive Morphology. in Barker G. M. (ed.): The biology of terrestrial molluscs. CABI Publishing, Oxon, UK, 2001, ISBN 0-85199-318-4. 1-146, cited pages: 139 and 142.

External links[edit]