During the summer and autumn of 2020, DDT Sökhundar AB has tested and evaluated how to train detection dogs to search for Black-headed Slug (Krynickillus melanocephalus).
The black-headed slug is a new invasive species in Sweden. It was found in a number of places in late summer and autumn 2019. It originally comes from the Caucasus (Russia, eastern Turkey and northern Iran) and should not be found here in Sweden. It is believed that it came here with imported plants.
When we found out about this, we had already trained and developed training methods for dogs to find eggs from Spanish slug for almost a year and drove and picked up a number of individuals where it was found.
In order to be able to work with dogs to detect Black-headed Slug, there are high demands on the dogs. They must be able to work with and without a leash, in difficult terrain. The dogs must also not have problems working when there are people and animals nearby. The dogs must be able to search over large areas in an efficient manner.
Since the species is new in Sweden, there is still a lack of knowledge about how it lives here and how widespread it is. If you find a Black-headed Slug, you should go to www.invasivaarter.nu and report the findings.
This is important so that it can be limited and hopefully eradicated here as it does not belong in Swedish nature. It is still not known how much damage it can do here, but where we have found it, we experience that it is not as voracious as the Spanish slug, but that it is in very large numbers where it is and that together they can do great damage. We do not yet know how this will affect the native slug species and the biological diversity in our Swedish nature. But we want to do everything so that it does not spread to more places.
Our dogs who are trained on Black-headed slug are trained to search areas in different types of terrain, everything from an ordinary garden with lawn and crops to forest areas etc. The dogs must be able to mark regardless of whether it is one slug or a hundred on a surface.