A Canadian range extension for Wormslug (Boettgerilla pallens; Gastropoda: Stylommatophora: Boettgerillidae)


  • Paul M. Catling Research Scientist, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (Ottawa, ON)
  • Brenda Kostiuk




Wormslug, Boettgerilla pallens, Quebec, introduced, invasive, slug, spread, distribution, ecology


The introduced Wormslug (Boettgerilla pallens Simroth, 1912) is reported from Quebec, Canada, for the first time, from two closely situated localities in Gatineau Park. It was previously reported from the Vancouver area of British Columbia and, very recently, from Newfoundland. Within the Americas, the species has been reported from northern California, Mexico, and Colombia, and, because it is easily overlooked, likely occurs elsewhere in North America, especially in the eastern United States. In Quebec, it was found in a natural Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum Marshall) woodland and an ornamental garden. Wormslug likely reached both sites with shrub plantings from commercial nurseries, probably quite recently, because the invasive spread of the species, worldwide, has occurred mostly during the last few decades. Although the woodland where it occurred is dominated by native plants, the gastropod fauna there is mainly introduced. Identification, characteristics, and ecology of Wormslug are discussed. The potential for impact on native soil and soil surface organisms, including native terrestrial slugs and snails, is noted.

Author Biography

Paul M. Catling, Research Scientist, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (Ottawa, ON)

Expertise: plants, alien species, biodiversity and conservation.