Spotlighting at night. Nice discovery!
Please acknowledge any use of this photo: Andy Jones, Cleveland Museum of Natural History
under rotting red beech log
under log in pasture 5m from bush
- +/- 5cm in length
- very distinctive bold blue hue, slightly lighter underneath
- 15 sets of legs with pads for feet
- had a sticky substance around it, I imagine a technique used to catch prey
- discovered in rotting vegetation, buried in the earth
- quite archaic looking
Found under some old plastic sheeting in the Kahuterawa Bush Remnant.
The velvet worms (Onychophora — literally "claw bearers", also known as Protracheata) are a minor ecdysozoan phylum with ~180 species. These obscurely segmented organisms have tiny eyes, antennae, multiple pairs of legs and slime glands. They have variously been compared to worms with legs, caterpillars and slugs. Most common in tropical regions of the Southern Hemisphere, they prey on smaller animals such as insects, which they catch by squirting an adhesive mucus. In modern zoology, they are