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Boettgerilla pallens Simroth, 1912
Family: Boettgerillidae
Species account author: Robert Forsyth.


© Kristiina Ovaska     (Photo ID #2738)


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Distribution of Boettgerilla pallens in British Columbia in British Columbia

Species Information

Among terrestrial slugs in BC, this is an unmistakable species, recognized by its pale colour and long, worm-like form.

Slug-like, medium-sized (length, 30–60 mm; width, 3–5 mm wide). Animal very slender, worm-like when active. Pale translucent grey, bluish-grey or yellowish-grey, with the keel, back and head darker bluish-grey in adults; juveniles are nearly white. Mantle ca 1/3 the length of the body, pointed behind, and with a pattern of fine concentric wrinkles and a groove that approximately parallels the mantle’s right edge. Pneumostome near the midpoint of the mantle. Keel prominent and extending from tip of tail to mantle.

Genitalia figured by Gittenberger et al. (1984).

Internal, plate-like, edges irregular.


This is a mainly subterranean species to depth of 60 cm. It is well adapted for moving through soil and burrows of earthworms. A small proportion of each population is also found at the surface, under wood, leaf litter and stones. In British Columbia, this species is recorded from semi-wild urban parks, gardens, and retail plant nurseries (Reise et al. 2000).

In South America, it was found in disturbed habitats and at the margin of native Andean forest (Hausdorf 2002).


Global range
Native to the Caucasus Mountains and southeastern Europe. In recent years it has become widely introduced throughout western and central Europe. Outside of the Palaearctic realm, Boettgerilla pallens is introduced to British Columbia (Reise et al. 2000) and in Colombia, South America (Hausdorf 2002).

BC range
Now known from several places around Victoria, elsewhere on southern Vancouver Island and in the Metro Vancouver (Reise et al. 2000, Forsyth 2004, K. Ovaska & H. Reise, C. Neckheim pers. comm.).


Genus named for Oskar Boettger (1844–1910), German malacologist who worked and published on (among others) Caucasian slugs; the gender is feminine. Species name, Latin, meaning "pale".

Literature cited

Forsyth, R.G. 2004. Land Snails of British Columbia, Royal BC Museum Handbook. Victoria: Royal British Columbia Museum. iv + 188 p., [8] pl.

Gittenberger, E., Backhuys, W., and Ripken, T.E.J. 1984. De Landslakken van Nederland. 2nd ed. Amsterdam: Koninklijke Nederlandse Natuurhistorische Vereniging. 184 pp.

Hausdorf, B. 2002. Introduced land snails and slugs in Colombia. Journal of Molluscan Studies 68 (2): 127–131.

Reise, H., Hutchinson, J.M.C., Forsyth, R.G., and Forsyth, T.J. 2000. The ecology and rapid spread of the terrestrial slug Boettgerilla pallens in Europe with reference to its recent discovery in North America. The Veliger 43 (4): 313–318.

Status Information

Origin StatusProvincial StatusBC List
(Red Blue List)
ExoticSNAExoticNot Listed

BC Ministry of Environment: BC Species and Ecosystems Explorer--the authoritative source for conservation information in British Columbia.

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