Differentiation of large arionid slugs (Mollusca, Pulmonata) using ligula morphology

Leslie R. Noble

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


A study of the ligula (a holdfast/stimulatory device associated with the distal genitalia) in the species aggregates Arion ater and A. lusitanicus, common in NW Europe, suggests that examination of this organ may permit rapid and reliable differentiation to the sub-specific level. This study describes the ligula and its taxon-specific characteristics, illustrated by three-dimensional stereo photographs, which clearly reveal its structure and can be readily compared with dissected material. The bizarre and intricate variations some taxa exhibit in the form of this organ are interpreted in terms of mating behaviour.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-263
Number of pages9
JournalZoologica Scripta
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1992


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