Survival and food choice of the grey field slug (Deroceras reticulatum) on three different seed types under laboratory conditions

Research paper by J. Gebauer

Indexed on: 01 Feb '02Published on: 01 Feb '02Published in: Anzeiger für Schädlingskunde


In Ireland, the grey field slug (Deroceras reticulatum) is the predominant slug pest species in arable crops. It can cause enormous damage, but the knowledge about its feeding biology is limited.Adult species were reared under laboratory conditions, and the survival, feeding activity, and weight change of slugs when feed on maize, peas, or wheat seeds were investigated. An especially high mortality was experienced in the wheat treatment. It was hypothesised that the high mortality was due to a Fusarium species, however, a Fusarium infection of the wheat seeds was not confirmed. The weight change of the slugs was very variable due to a high egg production of some slugs.A second experiment examined the food choice and feeding activity of D. reticulatum when offered a choice of the three seed types. Most of the slugs preferred to feed on a mixture of seeds, but the highest feeding activity was recorded on the pea seeds.