Zoological Studies

Vol. 59, 2020

(update: 2020.10.15; 11.12)

Molecular Approach to the Identification of Three Closely Related Slugs Deroceras Species (Gastropoda: Eupulmonata: Agriolimacidae)

Kamila S. Zając1,* and Daniel Stec2


1Institute of Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Biology, Jagiellonian University, Gronostajowa 7, 30-387 Kraków, Poland. *Correspondence: kamila.zajac12@gmail.com
2Institute of Zoology and Biomedical Research, Faculty of Biology, Jagiellonian University, Gronostajowa 9, 30-387 Kraków, Poland. E-mail: daniel_stec@interia.eu (Stec)

Received 27 July 2020 / Accepted 6 September 2020
Communicated by Benny K.K. Chan

Some species of slugs belonging to the genus Deroceras are invasive and cause severe agricultural damage. Despite extensive knowledge about their invasiveness, data on the molecular differentiation of these morphologically similar species are lacking. Here we present a molecular approach to identifying three closely related species of the genus DerocerasD. agreste (L., 1758), D. reticulatum (O. F. Müller, 1774) and D. turcicum (Simroth, 1894) (Gastropoda: Eupulmonata: Agriolimacidae)—based on sequences of multiple molecular markers: cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI), cytochrome b (cyt-b), internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS-2) and 28S ribosomal RNA (28S rRNA). We also provide detailed photomicrographs of the penis and penial gland of the three species, as it is the latter that holds the most important phenotypic characters for distinguishing between these taxa. Since identification of the studied species based solely on morphology is considered challenging, contributing a means of molecular differentiation will aid further ecological and biodiversity surveys of these important pests.

Key words: Taxonomy, Deroceras, Barcoding, Gastropods, Slugs.

Citation: Zając KS, Stec D. 2020. Molecular approach to identifying three closely related slug species of the genus Deroceras (Gastropoda: Eupulmonata: Agriolimacidae). Zool Stud 59:55. doi:10.6620/ZS.2020.59-55.

Supplementary Materials: Table S1 | Table S2 | Table S3 | Table S4