Black-keeled Slug

Photo(s): 

Black-keeled Slug

Milax gagates


Usually feed at night.  Hides under stones, moist ground litter and in the soil during the day. This pest species of crops can burrow into soil and often damages the roots and lower stems of plants. Eggs are laid in tunnels made below the soil surface. Clutch size may be as few as 16. The eggs incubate for about 25 days. The hatchling slugs mature within 4-5 months.


Details Description
Type
Invertebrate
Group
Mollusc
Other Common Names
Jet slug, Greenhouse slug
Identifying Characteristics

Body grey-brown to black, gradually becoming lighter in color towards the tail end. The mantle is large and may have a horseshoe-shaped groove in the centre. Body up to 70 mm long.

Distinctive Markings

Has a very prominent keel (ridge) from the back edge of the mantle to the tip of the tail. This is more obvious when the slug is disturbed and contracts its body.

Diet

Herbivore. In native grasslands it appears to prefer plants in the pea family (legumes), daisy family and some lilies.

Habitat

Occurs in crops and gardens. Has invaded native grasslands in Victoria.

Native Status
Introduced
Taxonomy
Phylum
Mollusca
Class
Gastropoda
Order
Stylommatophora
Family
Milacidae
Genus
Milax
Species
gagates
Native to western Mediterranean and western Europe. Distributed in south-eastern Australia and Tasmania.

Distribution maps indicate current and historic locations where species have been sighted.

Source: Atlas of Living Australia

Conservation Status
DEPI Advisory List
Not listed
FFG Act
Not listed
EPBC Act
Not listed

The conservation status of species is listed within Victoria and Australia.

The Department of Environment and Primary Industry (DEPI) Advisory List consists of non-statutory advisory lists of rare or threatened flora and fauna within Victoria.

The Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 (FFG Act) lists threatened species in Victoria. Under the Act, an Action Statement is produced for each listed species.

The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) is the Australian Government’s key piece of environmental legislation, listing nationally threatened native species and ecological communities.