Tasmania's living-fossil, Onychophora, Velvet worm
The image shows Tasmania's strange Giant Velvet Worm rearing up to spray sticky glue at its prey (insects, snails) - up to two metres away.
Tasmania’s velvet ‘worm’ is a member of a primitive but successful group of animals (Order Onychophora) known from the fossil record back to Cambrian time (around five hundred million years ago). There are several species in Tasmania, ranging in colour from white to pink, to a spotted purple blue.
The pink/mauve species (Giant Velvet Worm) has a cylindrical body with a pale underside extending to about 75 mm in length when walking. It has fifteen pairs of stubby, non-jointed legs. It is carnivorous and hunts at night. It occurs in dry and wet eucalypt forest in shaded, moist areas such as stream sides, and is often found in decaying logs or deep litter. It has a very restricted range - on the east coast of Tasmania, where it is found from near sea level to about 500 m. Threats come from the loss of habitat, including removal of rotting logs by conversion of native forest to plantation or agriculture, too frequent or high intensity fire and firewood collection.
Available Editions of this Artwork
|Velvet-worm, Tasmanian living-fossil | Drypoint Print (signed/numbered)
|40.00cm H x 40.00cm W
|wilderness, velvet-worm, Tasmanian, living-fossil, Australian_nature, drypoint | Drypoint Print (signed/numbered)
|40.00cm H x 40.00cm W x 0.01cm D