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Velvet worms have been around for a very long time, even before dinosaurs existed. They are soft-bodied invertebrates found in rainforests throughout Australia.
This particular species is from southern NSW and features a dark blue body that gets progressively more purple towards the posterior end. There’s a faint, dark median band and numerous small yellow spots.
Velvet worms are predators and capture prey in a remarkable manner. When prey is spotted, they spit venom-glue at a speed that may be the world’s fastest animal motion. Once the prey is trapped they will slowly make their way over and consume them.
These velvet worms must be kept moist and must be kept in between 7-18c, a wine cooler/ bar fridge is helpful in warm months or in the north of the country.
They are soft, and feel (and look) like velvet and cannot harm you so may be gently handled, they may curl into a ball when frightened. They grow to 30mm in length.
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