Species: Yellow Slug (Limax flavus)

Family: Slugs (LIMACIDAE)

Category: Invertebrates (Other)

Location: Widespread

A. Invertebrates (Other)

More extensive information on invertebrates can be found in a separate blog post.


Slugs are unshelled gastropod molluscs, and have the same food preferences as snails, mainly herbivorous, but also omnivorous and carnivorous. The herbivorous and omnivorous slugs eat rather more dead that living material compared to snails, and as such are useful scavengers and recyclers in the garden. They have a horny plate concealed under the mantle, or saddle, but no shell, so maintaining body moisture is essential, which is why they are so active after rain, and during the night when it is cool. Like snails they propel themselves with a muscular 'foot'. Slugs leave their scent in their slime trails, which assists in navigation and own species recognition. Slugs have teeth, and so can bite, and carnivorous slugs may hunt by following slime trails. All slugs are hermaphrodites, so when they mate both individuals produce eggs. Strongly smelling native plants with hairy stems help control slugs, such as lavender, rosemary and cranesbills, but better is to encourage hedgehogs, rodents, ground beetles, glow-worms (which feed exclusively on slugs and snails), and birds. Do not use chemicals, especially if you have pets. These slugs in the Keelback family have a keel on their back. Many of our larger slugs belong to this family, which is much maligned as they are not a problem in the garden. The most avid crop munchers are generally small slugs, not members of this family.

C. Yellow Slug (Limax flavus)

Look for these in cool, damp places. Their yellow and grey/brown mottled appearance is distinctive.

Additional Information


Molluscs are a large, diverse group of invertebrates, which have soft, unsegmented bodies enclosed within calcareous shells, and are represented in gardens mainly by terrestrial gastropods such as snails and slugs. Other molluscs, particularly the bivalves (like clams, oysters, scallops, cockles) and cephalopods (like squid and octopus), are aquatic. Their shells are secreted by a soft mantle covering the body.


Yellow Slug

The yellow and grey/brown mottled appearance of Yellow Slugs is distinctive.