European red slug

The European red slug, Arion rufus L, is common to sites in the Pacific Northwest.

It can be distinguished from other slugs by the placement of the respiratory pore (the round hole on the right side near the head) before the mid-point of the mantle; a back without a keel (ridge); and heavily wrinkled skin. It is generally 70-100 mm in length and variable in color ranging from reddish, orange, brown or black. The foot fringe is mostly red with stripes. The optics tentacles are dark (Godan, 1983).

Several other Arion species can be found in the Pacific Northwest including A. circumscriptus Johnston, grey garden slug ; A. ater L., the European black slug; A. hortensis Ferussac, garden slug; and A. intermedius Normand, hedgehog slug (Gordon, 1994).


Original version: <10 February 2004)

Last revision <3 August 2016>

Author: R.L. Rosetta, Extension Nursery Integrated Pest Management, Department of Horticulture, Oregon State University

Photo: Rosetta, OSU

Photo: Rosetta, OSU

Mating European red slugs

European red slug eating Arum italicum

European red slug eating Arum italicum

Photo: Rosetta, OSU