Spanish Slug Discovered in Iceland’s West Fjords Skip to content

Spanish Slug Discovered in Iceland’s West Fjords

A fully-grown Spanish slug (Lat. Arion lusitanicus) was discovered in Hnífsdalur in the West Fjords yesterday. To date, this vermin has only been found in the capital region and in Ólafsfjördur, north Iceland, so zoologists consider the recent find bad news.

“I had predicted last fall that there would be an explosion, or at least a considerable increase, in Spanish slugs this year. It has come true because I have received many reports on slugs, but only in the capital region. August hasn’t begun yet and that is the peak season for Spanish slugs,” Erling Ólafsson, zoologist at the Icelandic Institute of Natural History, told Morgunbladid.

The Spanish slug is an omnivore but prefers plants that have a strong scent, like summer flowers and vegetables, although it also has a taste for carcasses and dog droppings. If the conditions are fortunate, humidity and warmth, the number of slugs increase quickly and they can cause considerable damage in gardens and ruin vegetable harvests.

This unwelcome guest was first discovered in Iceland in fall 2003. It is seven to 15 centimeters long and is mostly reddish brown in color. Ólafsson would like to see live species and information on new locations where the Spanish slug has settled. His email is [email protected].

The Spanish slug is also relatively new to Norway where the Ministry of Agriculture is waging a war on the vermin.

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