Helminths associated with terrestrial slugs in some parts of Europe
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionBonn zoological Bulletin (BzB). 2020, 69 (1), 11–26. 10.20363/BZB-2020.69.1.011
A survey of helminths associated with terrestrial slugs focusing on the invasive Arion vulgaris and the native A. ater was conducted on populations from France, Germany, Netherlands, Norway and Poland. In total, 648 terrestrial slugs were collected from 18 sample sites, and identified by means of morphological examination, dissection of genitalia and molecular analysis using mitochondrial DNA. In addition to A. vulgaris and A. ater, also A. vulgaris/A. rufus hybrids and A. ater/A. rufus hybrids were collected. Helminth species were identified based on morphological features and sequencing of the 18S and ITS rDNA regions. The parasites included four nematode species: Alloionema appendiculatum, Angiostoma sp., Phasmarhabditis hermaphrodita, Entomelas sp., two trematode species: Brachylaima mesostoma, Eurytrema sp., and one cestode (tapeworm) species: Skrjabinia sp. Alloionema appendiculatum was the most common helminth in the investigated slug populations. Furthermore, we found higher prevalence of trematodes in the invasive A. vulgaris compared with the native A. ater, while differences in the prevalence for nematodes were not as clear.