Arion (gastropod)

Arion rufus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Gastropoda
(unranked): clade Heterobranchia

clade Euthyneura
clade Panpulmonata
clade Eupulmonata
clade Stylommatophora
informal group Sigmurethra

Superfamily: Arionoidea
Family: Arionidae
Genus: Arion
Férussac, 1819[1]

See text

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]


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

Species include:

Also included


  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). Ekologija 1, 12-16.
  4. 1 2 Jordaens, K., et al. (2001). Food-induced body pigmentation questions the taxonomic value of colour in the self-fertilizing slug Carinarion spp. 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. 1 2 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.
  8. 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.

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