Velvet Worms
PERIPATOPSIDAE ,   ONYCHOPHORA
  
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com )
and
Stella Crossley


(Photo: courtesy of Elizabeth Keen, Braidwood)

These are not Caterpillars, but are in a special phylum related to Arthropoda (Insects, Spiders, etc.). The commonest ones are black, but there are various species with other colours. They are soft and cylindrical, with over a dozen pairs of stubby feet. The head has a pair of floppy antaennae.


(Photo: courtesy of Elizabeth Keen, Braidwood)

They are carnivorous, catching insects and other arthropods and gastropods by squirting slime over them.


(Photo: courtesy of Elizabeth Keen, Braidwood)

They grow to a length of up to 20 cms. They are are nocturnal, and commonly inhabit rotting logs.

At least 64 species of Velvet Worms exist in Australia, occuring in

  • New South Wales,
  • Victoria,
  • Tasmania, and
  • Western Australia.

    Link to
    Other Non-Caterpillars

    Australian
    Australian Butterflies
    butterflies
    Australian
    home
    caterpillars
    Australian
    Australian Moths
    moths

    (written 19 April 2013)