East African Keeled Land Slug

The East African Keeled Land Slug (Limacidae sp.) is an air-breathing terrestrial mollusc in the Gastropoda order and Limacoidea superfamily of keel-backed (ridgeback) slugs. It is a land snail without a shell. 

The East African Keeled Land Slug has a long white body with a mantle, a keeled (ridged) back and two pairs of retractable feelers on its head. The upper pair of feelers has eyespots at the tips. The lower pair of feelers contains sense organs. The mantle is a saddle-looking structure behind the head. On one side of the mantle is a respiratory opening, called a pneumostome. The body is also called the tail, which is behind the mantle. It has a ridge down the middle of the back of the tail. Its foot is the flat under-side of the slug. It secretes mucous that it travels on. 

East African Keeled Land Slug (retracted)

It measures about 10 centimetres (4 inches) in length. 

It is native to Kenya in Africa. It prefers warm, damp forests. It is most active after rain. In dry conditions, it hides in a damp place, usually on or under the bark of a tree. 

It feeds on algae, moss, and lichen found on tree trunks.

The East African Keeled Land Slug is a hermaphrodite, having both male and female reproductive organs. It lays about 30 eggs in a hole in the ground or in leaf litter.  The eggs hatch after 25-30 days. 

It is semelparous, dying 15-30 days after laying eggs. 

East African Keeled Land Slug (retracted)

[Location of photographs: Nairobi, Kenya]

Photographer: Martina Nicolls


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