Hero photograph
Peripatus is the common name for Onychophora,(pronounced ON E COUGH AURA). Onychophora comes from the Greek language, and means "claw-bearer", in reference to the claws that all these animals have on the ends of their (many!) feet.   
Photo by Rod Morris

NatureHQ - Peripatus

NatureHQ, The Community Gallery & Dave Randle —

Dunedin is one of three known cities in the world where Peripatus (Onychophora) live. Come and see them up close at NatureHQ on Friday 26 April, 11am-12pm.

Dave Randle has been a champion for the Peripatus for many years, trying to protect the habitat that peripatus live in and to inform people about the importance of old growth forest, be it native or not.   This rare and very unusual creature lives in this kind of habitat in good numbers.  Some countries protect Peripatus species and others protect entire ecosystems that result in protecting them. As yet in New Zealand we do not protect their ecosystem or them.  

Dave knows so much about this creature that some call "the velvet worm"....but its not a worm, it has its own zoological Phylum - meaning it truly is a unique ancient species.

"It is amazing where Onychophora can persist. Not only in vegetative matter - old stumps and logs of trees, deep leaf litter etc., but also under rocks, stones, in rubbish dumps, plastic bags etc. etc! They will adapt to virtually any suitable moisture-controlled environment, and will persist there as long as there is sufficient forage-habitat (ie enough other invertebrates to keep them nourished). One of their favourite prey-items are SPIDERS! They will hunt down, stick down, and ingest spiders much bigger than themselves! " Dave Randle

This event is for all ages - for anyone interested in getting to know Peripatus a little better.    So drop into NatureHQ on Friday 26th at 11am to meet Dave and some Onychophora.

NatureHQ is the festival base and venue and it will be located in the DCC Community Gallery, 20 Princes Street - just a few metres south of the Octagon walking towards Moray Place.  See map below #9