Identification and control of pest slugs and snails for broadacre crops in Western Australia

Page last updated: Monday, 27 June 2022 - 3:38pm

Identification and habits of pest slugs and snails

Slugs

Black keeled slug (Milax gagates)

Description

Black keeled slugs are 40-60mm long, black to brown with a ridge down their back.

Habits

This species burrows to a depth of 20cm or more surviving the heat of summer under the ground. Black keeled slugs re-emerge anytime conditions improve, such as after reasonable rainfall and when soil temperature decreases.

Black keeled slug (bottom) and reticulated slug (top)
Black keeled slug (bottom) and reticulated slug (top)

Reticulated slug (Deroceras reticulatum)

Description

Reticulated slugs are up to 50mm long, have dark brown mottling and range from light grey to fawn. There are usually two generations per year, in autumn and spring, however, this species can breed anytime under favourable conditions.

Habits

Reticulated slugs are found mainly at night on the soil surface. In summer, they usually shelter under rocks or logs, but also can move into loose or cracked soil.

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