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Superfamily Athoracophoroidea Family Athorocophoridae

The slugs in this family have only one pair of tentacles and the internal shell has been reduced to calcerous deposits.There is a distinctive tracheate lung unique in molluscs.It has a pulmonary room,with thin walled pulmonary diverticula rising from the bottom and forming a roof of a dorsal blood sinus. The animals can get up to 15 cm lenghtwise and often have bright colors. They live in New Zealand,eastern Australia,New Caledonia,New Hebrides,New Britain and The Admiralty Islands.Feeding on funghi they are found under wood,leaf litter and in leaf bases of flax bushes and Mikau palms. Breathing is done through the skin of the back which moistened by a secretion passing along the grooves. The yellow eggs are round and gelatinous,varying in size of 3-7 mm. From the start of spring till late summer these are laid in batches of up to 50 in cool,damp areas. Two sub-families make up this family : the Athoracophorinae,which have a foot separated by a groove (hyponotum)from the body,and the Aneiteinae which have no hyponotum. New Zealand stamp with Athoracophorus.(image:Tom Walker)