Plants and Animals

Philomycus carolinianus Carolina mantleslug

Key Characteristics

The Carolina mantleslug is a large slug (up to 4 in/10 cm long) with a full-length mantle mottled with brown and having one or two longitudinal rows of black spots running down its center.

Status and Rank

US Status: No Status/Not Listed
State Status: SC - Special Concern (rare or uncertain; not legally protected)
Global Rank: G5 - Secure
State Rank: S2 - Imperiled


CountyNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed
Cass 2 2002
Cheboygan 2 Historical

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 Carolina mantleslug inhabits dry-mesic to mesic forested habitats, as well as floodplains. The species is especially found in areas with pine and aspen. The species is often located beneath loose bark on downed woody debris and trees after rains.

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.

Management Recommendations

Land-use activities that remove forest canopy cover and alter critical habitat requirements such as cool microclimate and moisture availability should be avoided at occupied sites. These include activities such as timber harvesting, residential development, and road building. The species also is sensitive to excessive trampling and ORV use. Salvage logging after blowdowns should be avoided, and coarse woody debris should be left on site. Use of prescribed fire in occupied sites should be avoided, if possible, or prescribed fire should be applied very conservatively, leaving multiple refugia and using a burn interval of at least 15 years.

Active Period

Active from first week of April to fourth week of September

Survey Methods

Surveys can be conducted anytime during the growing season, but are most successful in spring and fall following rain showers or when the soil is moist, and during higher relative humidity conditions and cooler temperatures. Visual surveys consist of looking for individuals crawling on the ground, in moist leaf litter, and on or under woody debris.

Visual surveys

Survey Period: From fourth week of April to fourth week of September

Humidity: Humid
Precipitation: Just after rain


Survey References

  • Burch, J.B. and Y. Jung. 1988. Land Snails of the University of Michigan Biological Station area. Walkerana 3(9)

Technical References

  • Baker, F.C. 1939. Fieldbook of Illinois Land Snails. Illinois Natural History Survey Manual 2, Urbana, Illinois. 166pp.
  • Burch, J.B. and Y. Jung. 1988. Land Snails of the University of Michigan Biological Station area. Walkerana 3(9)