The Veronicellidae, common name
Common name
A common name of a taxon or organism is a name in general use within a community; it is often contrasted with the scientific name for the same organism...

 the leatherleaf slugs, are a terrestrial family
Family (biology)
In biological classification, family is* a taxonomic rank. Other well-known ranks are life, domain, kingdom, phylum, class, order, genus, and species, with family fitting between order and genus. As for the other well-known ranks, there is the option of an immediately lower rank, indicated by the...

 of pulmonate slug
Slug is a common name that is normally applied to any gastropod mollusc that lacks a shell, has a very reduced shell, or has a small internal shell...


This family has no subfamilies (according to the taxonomy of the Gastropoda by Bouchet & Rocroi, 2005
Taxonomy of the Gastropoda (Bouchet & Rocroi, 2005)
The taxonomy of the Gastropoda as it was revised by Philippe Bouchet and Jean-Pierre Rocroi is currently the most up-to-date overall system for classifying gastropod mollusks...


The herbivorous molluscs occur mainly in the tropical and subtropical areas of America, Asia and Africa.

They act as intermediate hosts of the rat lung worm Angiostrongylus costaricensis
Angiostrongylus costaricensis
Angiostrongylus costaricensis is a parasitic nematode.Its distribution include Brazil.- Hosts :* Limax maximus* slugs from the family Veronicellidae...

, and act as a vector for other human diseases. They also cause significant damage to crops.


The dorsal surface of these slugs is entirely covered by the mantle or hyponota. These mollusks have a posterior located anus
The anus is an opening at the opposite end of an animal's digestive tract from the mouth. Its function is to control the expulsion of feces, unwanted semi-solid matter produced during digestion, which, depending on the type of animal, may be one or more of: matter which the animal cannot digest,...

, eyes on contractile (not retractile) tentacles, and no lung or pulmonary organ. In these aspects they are anatomically distinct from most other types of terrestrial slugs, which typically belong to the order Stylommatophora
Stylommatophora is a taxon of air-breathing land snails and slugs, terrestrial pulmonate gastropod molluscs. This taxon is currently considered to be a clade. It was previously regarded as an infraorder...

, and which have a forward located anus, and retractile tentacles.

The closely related members of the family Onchidiidae
Onchidiidae are a family of small, air-breathing sea slugs. They are shell-less marine pulmonate gastropod molluscs. Onchidiidae is the only family within the superfamily Onchidioidea....

 differ from the Veronicellidae by having a pulmonary sac, or lung.


Members of the family can be found in the Central African Republic
Central African Republic
The Central African Republic , is a landlocked country in Central Africa. It borders Chad in the north, Sudan in the north east, South Sudan in the east, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Republic of the Congo in the south, and Cameroon in the west. The CAR covers a land area of about ,...

, Kenya
Kenya , officially known as the Republic of Kenya, is a country in East Africa that lies on the equator, with the Indian Ocean to its south-east...

, the Cameroon
Cameroon, officially the Republic of Cameroon , is a country in west Central Africa. It is bordered by Nigeria to the west; Chad to the northeast; the Central African Republic to the east; and Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and the Republic of the Congo to the south. Cameroon's coastline lies on the...

, tropical West Africa
West Africa
West Africa or Western Africa is the westernmost region of the African continent. Geopolitically, the UN definition of Western Africa includes the following 16 countries and an area of approximately 5 million square km:-Flags of West Africa:...

The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

, the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Democratic Republic of the Congo
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is a state located in Central Africa. It is the second largest country in Africa by area and the eleventh largest in the world...

, Thailand
Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...

, southern Asia
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

, southern China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

, Cuba
The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

, the Highland Rainforest
Rainforests are forests characterized by high rainfall, with definitions based on a minimum normal annual rainfall of 1750-2000 mm...

s of Puerto Rico, Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

, Dominica, Hawaii
Hawaii is the newest of the 50 U.S. states , and is the only U.S. state made up entirely of islands. It is the northernmost island group in Polynesia, occupying most of an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean, southwest of the continental United States, southeast of Japan, and northeast of...

, the islands of the Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
The Indian Ocean is the third largest of the world's oceanic divisions, covering approximately 20% of the water on the Earth's surface. It is bounded on the north by the Indian Subcontinent and Arabian Peninsula ; on the west by eastern Africa; on the east by Indochina, the Sunda Islands, and...

, Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

, Samoa
Samoa , officially the Independent State of Samoa, formerly known as Western Samoa is a country encompassing the western part of the Samoan Islands in the South Pacific Ocean. It became independent from New Zealand in 1962. The two main islands of Samoa are Upolu and one of the biggest islands in...

 and Guyana
Guyana , officially the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, previously the colony of British Guiana, is a sovereign state on the northern coast of South America that is culturally part of the Anglophone Caribbean. Guyana was a former colony of the Dutch and of the British...



Genera within the family Veronicellidae include:
  • Angustipes Colosi 1922
  • Diplosolenodes
    Diplosolenodes is a genus of air-breathing land slugs, terrestrial pulmonate gastropod mollusks in the family Veronicellidae, the leatherleaf slugs.-Species:Species within the genus Diplosolenodes include:* Diplosolenodes attenuatus...

    Thome, 1976
  • Laevicaulis
    Laevicaulis is a taxonomic genus of air-breathing, tropical land slugs, terrestrial pulmonate gastropod mollusks in the family Veronicellidae, the leatherleaf slugs.-Species:Species within the genus Laevicaulis include:...

    Simroth, 1913
  • Leidyula
    Leidyula is a genus of tropical air-breathing land slugs, shell-less terrestrial pulmonate gastropod mollusks in the family Veronicellidae.- Species :Species within the genus Leidyula include:...

    H. B. Baker, 1925
  • Phyllocaulis Colosi, 1922
  • Sarasinula
    Sarasinula is a genus of air-breathing land slugs, a terrestrial pulmonate gastropod mollusks in the family Veronicellidae, the leatherleaf slugs.-Species:Species in the genus Sarasinula include:* Sarasinula dubia...

    Grimpe & Hoffmann, 1924
  • Simrothula Thomé, 1975
    • Simrothula paraensis Gomes, Picanco, Mendes & Thome, 2006
  • Vaginula
    • Vaginula rodericensis Smith, 1876
  • Vaginulus
    Vaginulus is a genus of slugs in the family Veronicellidae.- Species :* Vaginulus buergueri * Vaginulus rodericensis Smith, 1876* Vaginulus sloanii synonyms:...

    Férussac 1829
  • Veronicella
    Veronicella is a genus of air-breathing land slugs, terrestrial pulmonate gastropod mollusks in the family Veronicellidae.- Species:Species within the genus Veronicella include:* Veronicella cubensis...

    de Blainville, 1817 - type genus

External links

  • Video of Veronicellid slug of Laos
  • Slugs of Florida on the UF
    University of Florida
    The University of Florida is an American public land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant research university located on a campus in Gainesville, Florida. The university traces its historical origins to 1853, and has operated continuously on its present Gainesville campus since September 1906...

     / IFAS
    Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
    The University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is a federal-state-county partnership dedicated to developing knowledge in agriculture, human and natural resources, and the life sciences, and enhancing and sustaining the quality of human life by making that information...

    Featured Creatures Web site
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