[Taxacom] Are slugs subgroup(s) of snails

Kenneth Kinman kennethkinman at webtv.net
Fri Sep 4 15:46:37 CDT 2009

Dear All, 
     I forgot about limpets.  So I looked up the German word for limpet,
and it is Napfschnecke (i.e., "bowl" snail, from the shape of the
shell).  Like Nacktschenke, this common name also indicates a belief
that limpets are viewed as a particular kind of snails.  
     This further solidifies my view that there are two different
meanings of "snail" out there, and when someone says snail, you can't
always know for sure whether they are using it in the broad sense
(gastropods in general) or in the narrow sense (gastropods living in a
coiled shell).  Those who use it sensu lato would not agree with
Francisco that Tandonia are NOT snails.  They would regard Tandonia as
Nacktschenken (naked snails), often also referred to by the English word
slugs.  Something to keep in mind.  
I wrote:
      Francisco wrote that Tandonia are slugs, not snails.  I guess this
depends on how one defines a snail.  If it must have a shell to be a
snail, then I guess this is true.   However, the word snail seems to
originate from the German Schnecke, which can mean either snails sensu
stricto (shelled forms only) or sensu lato (snails and slugs), depending
on the user. 
       The specific German word for a slug is Nacktschnecke, literally
meaning "naked snail".  Therefore, this indicates that at least some
Germans must have regarded naked snails (slugs) as a subset of snails.
Maybe this is a good thing, as it would clearly indicate their
relationship, especially to those who might think slugs are some kind of

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