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Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Gastropoda
(unranked): clade Heterobranchia

informal group Pulmonata
clade Eupulmonata
clade Stylommatophora
informal group Sigmurethra

Superfamily: Arionoidea
Family: Arionidae
Genus: Prophysaon
Bland & W. G. Binney, 1873[1]

Prophysaon, common name taildropper slugs, is a genus of air-breathing land slugs, terrestrial pulmonate gastropod mollusks in the family Arionidae, the roundback slugs.

These slugs can self-amputate (autotomy) a portion of their tail.[2] This autotomy has been observed in the species Prophysaon andersoni.[3]



This genus of slugs occurs in North America, including California, and Oregon.


Species in the genus Prophysaon include 10 species (9 according to Turgeon et al. 1998[4][5] and one new[2]):

  • Prophysaon andersoni (J. G. Cooper, 1872) - Reticulate Taildropper, Anderson's Taildropper Slug
  • Prophysaon boreale Pilsbry, 1948 - Northern Taildropper
  • Prophysaon coeruleum Cockerell, 1890 - Blue-Gray Taildropper
  • Prophysaon dubium Cockerell, 1890 - Papillose Taildropper
  • Prophysaon fasciatum Cockerell in W. G. Binney - Banded Taildropper
  • Prophysaon foliolatum (Gould, 1851) - Yellow-bordered Taildropper
  • Prophysaon humile Cockerell, 1890 - Smoky Taildropper
  • Prophysaon obscurum (Cockerell, 1890) - Mottled Taildropper
  • Prophysaon vanattae Pilsbry, 1948 - Scarlet-backed Taildropper
    • Prophysaon vanattae var. pardalis
  • Prophysaon undescribed species from Siskiyou County, California from year 2006.[2][6]


  1. ^ Bland & Binney W. G. 1873. Ann. Lyceum nat. Hist. N. York, 10, 293, volume 3, page 921.
  2. ^ a b c Rory J. Mc Donnel, Timothy D. Paine & Michael J. Gormally. 2009. Slugs: A Guide to the Invasive and Native Fauna of California. 21 pp., ISBN 978-1-60107-564-2. page 9
  3. ^ Hand, C., and W.M. Ingram. 1950. Natural history observations on Prophysaon andersoni (J.G. Cooper) with special reference to amputation. Bulletin of the Southern California Academy of Sciences 49: 15-28.
  4. ^ Thomas E. Burke. MANAGEMENT RECOMMENDATIONS FOR TERRESTRIAL MOLLUSK SPECIES Prophysaon coeruleum, Blue-Gray Taildropper & Prophysaon dubium, Papillose Taildropper
  5. ^ ITIS accessed 17 January 2009.
  6. ^ Roth B. & Sadeghian P. S. 2006. Checklist of the Land Snails and Slugs of California. Contributions in Science 3. Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, California. 82 pp.

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