• This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more.

Worm-eating slug found in garden

Mar 5, 2006
Gardeners in south Wales should not be surprised if they find an all-white, worm-munching slimy creature in their flowerbeds this summer.

A "ghost" slug found in a garden in Cardiff has been declared a new species by specialists at the National Museum of Wales and Cardiff University.

They have given the creature a partially Welsh name, Selenochlamys ysbryda, or ghost (ysbryd) slug.

Creatures of this type are more usually found in Turkey and Georgia.

The origin of the ghost slug, and its route into Britain, is completely unknown, and specimens have not been seen in Europe before this was discovered in Cardiff last year.

Another was was spotted in nearby Caerphilly.

Unlike most slugs, the ghost slug is carnivorous and kills earthworms at night with powerful, blade-like teeth, sucking them in like spaghetti.

It has no eyes or bodily colouring and lives underground.

"The Ghost Slug belongs to an obscure and almost unpronounceable group of slugs - the Trigonochlamydidae," said Ben Rowson, a biologist at National Museum Cardiff.

The slug's teeth are about half a mm long and blade-like​

"We had to thumb through lots of old publications in Russian and German to find anything like them - but then discovered they were something entirely new."

After studying the slug's anatomy, the scientists realised it was an undescribed species and christened the creature with the name adapted from the Welsh word for ghost, ysbryd.

Mr Rowson said: "Selenochlamys ysbryda seemed appropriate for this spooky, nocturnal hunter and indicates where it was first found. We think this is the first time a Welsh word has been used in an animal's scientific name."

Bill Symondson, an ecologist at Cardiff University, also studied the slug.

He said: "The lack of eyes and body colour could indicate the species evolved in a cave system.

"It was probably introduced to Britain in plant pots, making it an 'alien' species, although we can't be certain.

"We're concerned that it might become a pest, but we need to find out more about it first."

The museum has produced a simple identification guide available from its website to help monitor the slug's spread.

Mar 5, 2006
Worms sucked in by predator with blade-like teeth

A carnivorous slug that kills worms with its blade-like teeth, sucking them in like spaghetti, has been found in Britain.

The ghost slug, which hunts at night, is a new species similar to ones found in Turkey and Georgia. It turned up in gardens in Cardiff and Caerphilly, possibly after arriving in plant pots. The slug has been named selenochlamys ysbryda by the National Museum, Cardiff – from the Welsh for ghost, ysbryd.

A museum spokeswoman said: “It has no eyes, is completely white and lives underground, squeezing its body into cracks to get at the worms.”



Inactive User
Nov 17, 2005
thanks for that, I am useless with pronouncing welsh words.

Just learn the Welsh alphabet

There are 28 letters in the Welsh Alphabet comprising 7 Vowels and 21 Consonants and 13 dipthongs

There are 28 letters are: A | B | C | Ch | D | Dd | E | F | Ff | G | H | I | L | Ll | M | N | Ng | O | P | R | Rh | S | T | Th | U | W | Y

The dipthongs are: Ae | Ai | Au | Aw | Ei | Eu | Ew | I'w | Y'w | Oe | Ow | Wy | Ywy

Officially, Welsh does not possess the letters J, K, Q, V, X or Z, though you will come across imported words from other languages using these letters where no suitable Welsh letter is available, notably Jones (!) and Wrexham (Wrecsam).