The Poweshiek Skipper Project

Terrestrial Snails

Pallifera ohioensis (Sterki, 1908)

Redfoot Mantleslug

 

 

 A single individual was located by turning over a dead branch at Bixby State Preserve near Edgewood, Iowa.  It was considerably smaller than specimens of the Carolina mantleslug, or Philomycus carolinianus that I have seen.  However, I was not sure whether or not this was a fully-grown individual.

Identifying slugs seems to be somewhat problematic.  I used an online key to the slugs of Pennsylvania that is hosted by the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh.  Other on-line sources give some information about the species.  The Natureserve Explorer site  lists it but gives its range as (only) Ohio and Maine.   The Michigan DNR has an entry for it, and does not have a lot of information but suggests that it may be more widespread and common than reported.

Keys in Pilsbry rely heavily on internal structures.  In addition, many of the descriptions of slugs are of specimens that have been preserved in alcohol or other substances.  Drawings of Pallifera slugs in Baker do not look at all like this, although the few photographs I could find on the internet seemed to match this more than Bakerís drawings.

 

This slug was left attached to the wet piece of wood where it was found and the wood was returned to its original location.

On a side note, a couple of descriptions of this species involved dissections and included observations that a number of individuals were infected internally with tremetodes.  Those accounts included the observation that people should not eat the slugs raw.  I will keep that in mind the next time I am considering a meal of raw slugs.