Pallifera fosteri
Foster mantleslug

Key Characteristics

The foster mantleslug has no shell, is less than an inch in length, tan-colored with black blotches, and of a slim, cylindrical shape tapering to a point at the end. The short eye peduncles thicken at a rounded tip and the tentacles are very small.

Status and Rank

  • State Status: T
  • State Rank: S1
  • Global Rank: G5


County NameNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed
Distribution map for Pallifera fosteri

Updated 5/15/2018. Information is summarized from MNFI's database of rare species and community occurrences. Data may not reflect true distribution since much of the state has not been thoroughly surveyed.


The foster mantleslug is associated with upland and floodplain forest, usually beneath logs or organic litter (Hubricht 1985).

Natural Community Types


For each species, lists of natural communities were derived from review of the nearly 6,500 element occurrences in the MNFI database, in addition to herbarium label data for some taxa. In most cases, at least one specimen record exists for each listed natural community. For certain taxa, especially poorly collected or extirpated species of prairie and savanna habitats, natural community lists were derived from inferences from collection sites and habitat preferences in immediately adjacent states (particularly Indiana and Illinois). Natural communities are not listed for those species documented only from altered or ruderal habitats in Michigan, especially for taxa that occur in a variety of habitats outside of the state.

Natural communities are not listed in order of frequency of occurrence, but are rather derived from the full set of natural communities, organized by Ecological Group. In many cases, the general habitat descriptions should provide greater clarity and direction to the surveyor. In future versions of the Rare Species Explorer, we hope to incorporate natural community fidelity ranks for each taxon.


Identification and conservation of important habitat is an important first step toward management of the foster mantleslug and other terrestrial mollusks. Moist microhabitats with uncompacted soil and a rich organic litter layer are required by this and many other woodland species (Nekola 2003). Currently, the greatest threats to this group include habitat destruction through agricultural/residential development (Kay 1995), fragmentation and the loss of protective canopy cover, and vegetative ground cover/ organic litter loss through intensive recreational use (Applegarth 1999, Walden 1995). Snag retention may provide the foster mantleslug with important habitat as well as refuge during fire and drought (Applegarth 1999). Slugs rapidly absorb and bioaccumulate chemical pollutants and heavy metals (Berger and Dallinger 1993, Regoli et al. 2006), and high exposure to heavy metals has been found to prevent reproduction (Notten et al. 2006). Herbicide/insecticide treatments should be carried out with caution and affected populations monitored to evaluate impacts.

Active Period

Breeding from first week of May to fourth week of June

Survey Methods

Survey methods for slugs include both visual search for larger individuals and litter sampling for small (Pearce 2008).

Page Citation

Michigan Natural Features Inventory. 2007. Rare Species Explorer (Web Application). Available online at [Accessed Aug 17, 2018]


Survey References

Technical References

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