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Velvet Worms: Onychophora

Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Conservation Status, No Common Name (epiperipatus Biolleyi): Species AccountGEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, VELVET WORMS AND PEOPLE

NO COMMON NAME (Epiperipatus biolleyi): SPECIES ACCOUNT

Velvet worms are found in Mexico, Central America, Chile, tropical West Africa, South Africa, southeast Asia, New Guinea, Australia, and New Zealand.

All velvet worms live in leaf litter, under stones or logs, or in soil in moist and humid habitats, such as tropical and subtropical forests.


Velvet worms are carnivores (KAR-nih-vorz), or meat eaters, and eat mainly insects, spiders, other arthropods, and snails.


Velvet worms are particularly valuable research animals. Their distributions are studied to help track the movements of continents over millions of years. Their sticky slime is also being studied as a possible glue for special kinds of surgery.


Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceMollusks, Crustaceans, and Related Species