Limacus flavus

(Redirected from Limax flavus)

Limacus flavus, known commonly as the cellar slug, the yellow slug, or the tawny garden slug, is a medium to large species of air-breathing land slug, a terrestrial pulmonate gastropod mollusk in the family Limacidae.[1]

Limacus flavus
Yellow Slug (Limax flavus) (8212663379).jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Gastropoda
Subclass: Heterobranchia
Order: Stylommatophora
Family: Limacidae
Genus: Limacus
L. flavus
Binomial name
Limacus flavus
  • Limacus breckworthianus Lehmann, 1864
  • Limax (Limacus) flavus Linnaeus, 1758 (superseded combination)
  • Limax flavus Linnaeus, 1758 (original combination)


This slug has a yellow body with grey mottling, and pale blue tentacles. When extended, the body length can be 7.5 to 10 cm (3.0 to 3.9 in).[2]

Drawing of reproductive system of Limacus flavus.


The yellow slug is common in Scotland, England, Wales and Ireland as well as most of southern and western Europe. It has been accidentally introduced in many other parts of the world.


Yellow slugs, like the majority of other land slugs, use two pairs of tentacles on their heads to sense their environment. The upper pair, called optical tentacles, is used to sense light. The lower pair, oral tentacles, provide the slug's sense of smell. Both pairs can retract and extend themselves to avoid hazards, and, if lost to an accident or predation, can be regrown.

Like all slugs, the yellow slug moves relatively slowly, gliding along using a series of muscular contractions on the underside of its foot, which is lubricated with mucus, such that it leaves a slime trail behind it.


This species feeds mostly on fungi, decaying matter,[6] and vegetables.


This species is strongly associated with human habitation, and is usually found in damp areas such as cellars, kitchens, and gardens or under stones. Generally speaking it is only seen at night, because it is nocturnal. Thus often it goes unnoticed and people are unaware of how (relatively) common the species is.

Limacus flavus are inedible to humans. The slugs and other snails are researched and have been found to have a high count of fatty acid composition of phospholipids, including omega 6 and other important fatty acids.[citation needed]


Parasites of Limacus flavus include the nematode Angiostoma spiridonovi.[7]


  1. ^ MolluscaBase (2019). MolluscaBase. Limacus flavus (Linnaeus, 1758). Accessed through: World Register of Marine Species at: on 2019-07-06
  2. ^ Tiscali Encyclopaedia Archived 2006-02-16 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved March 25, 2005.
  3. ^ Kerney M.P. and Cameron R.A.D., 1979, A field guide to the land snails of Britain and north-west Europe. Collins.
  4. ^ Balashov I. & Gural-Sverlova N. 2012. An annotated checklist of the terrestrial molluscs of Ukraine. Journal of Conchology. 41 (1): 91-109.
  5. ^ Wiktor A., De-niu C. & Wu M. (2000). "Stylommatophoran slugs of China (Gastropoda: Pulmonata) – prodromus". Folia Malacologica 8(1): 3-35.
  6. ^ Bennett, S. M. 2000. Yellow Slugs. Retrieved March 25, 2005.
  7. ^ Morand, S. (1992) Angiostoma spiridonovi sp. n. (Nematoda: Angiostomatidae) from Limax flavus (Gastropoda: Limacidae). Journal of the Helminthological Society of Washington 59 212–17.
  • Spencer, H.G., Marshall, B.A. & Willan, R.C. (2009). Checklist of New Zealand living Mollusca. pp 196–219 in Gordon, D.P. (ed.) New Zealand inventory of biodiversity. Volume one. Kingdom Animalia: Radiata, Lophotrochozoa, Deuterostomia. Canterbury University Press, Christchurch.
  • Barker, G. M. (1999). Naturalised terrestrial Stylommatophora (Mollusca: Gastropoda). Fauna of New Zealand 38: 1-254
  • Herbert, D.G. (2010). The introduced terrestrial Mollusca of South Africa. SANBI Biodiversity Series, 15: vi + 108 pp. Pretoria.
  • Sysoev, A. V. & Schileyko, A. A. (2009). Land snails and slugs of Russia and adjacent countries. Sofia/Moskva (Pensoft). 312 pp., 142 plates. [June] [= Pensoft Series Faunistica No 87] page(s): 151, Fig. 77D, 84F

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