Solem, G. Alan Division of Invertebrates, Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, Illinois.
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An order (or superorder) in the gastropod molluscan subclass Pulmonata containing three families of sluglike mollusks that lack any trace of a shell, have separate external male and female orifices, lack a mantle cavity, have a posterior anus and excretory pore, and bear eyes on the tops of two contractile, but not retractile, tentacles. The Rathouisiidae include about 30 species of carnivorous land slugs and range from South China and India to Queensland, Australia, in very wet tropical forests. They have slender, often brightly colored bodies. The Veronicellidae comprise about 200 species of slugs that feed on decaying plant matter. Their distribution is now pantropical (including Florida and south Texas), owing to accidental horticultural introductions. They are minor garden and crop pests in several subtropical and tropical areas. They have long flattened bodies with usually dull colors and are very abundant nocturnally in garden and lawn areas. The Onchidiidae include perhaps 250 species of intertidal to high-subtidal dwellers, reaching greatest abundance in the rocky shore areas of the tropics. They range from a few inches to nearly 4 in. (100 mm) in length. Many species have dorsal eyespots or branchial plumes present, and can be confused with opisthobranch snails. See also: Pulmonata
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