This distinctive-looking species earns its common name for its unusual resemblance to a caterpillar, largely due to its somewhat wrinkled appearance and colour pattern. The long, slender body varies in shade, but usually displays bold alternating bands of dark brown and cream colour, with a paler mid-region and darker ends. The upper tentacles are pale brown, the lower ones greyish, and the sole (underside) of the foot is a slightly translucent cream colour (2)
The caterpillar slug is threatened by habitat loss and degradation as a result of ongoing urbanisation and development within its range. The original site of collection in a marsh near Durban has since been destroyed to make way for a road. These threats are exacerbated by the slug’s already restricted range, which makes it especially vulnerable to the effects of its changing environment (2).
Although there are currently no conservation measures directly targeting the caterpillar slug, individuals have been observed in Hluhluwe Game Reserve, where its habitat may receive some protection. Furthermore, its appearance in suburban gardens in the Pietermaritzburg area suggests that this slug may be adaptable to a certain degree of habitat modification, flexibility that would undoubtedly help its prospects of survival (2).
Authenticated (13/07/2006) by Dr. Dai G. Herbert, Chief Curator: Mollusca, Natal Museum, and member of the IUCN/SSC Southern African Invertebrate, and Mollusc Specialist Groups. http://www.nmsa.org.za/
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