Peripatus or velvet worms have characteristics of both worms and arthropods. They are so different from other related creatures that they have been given their own phylum – Onychophora. The most common and widespread species of peripatus in New Zealand is Peripatoides novaezelandiae. Up to 35 millimetres long, they are smoky blue in colour and have 15 pairs of stump-like legs.
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Soil Bugs – An Illustrated Guide to New Zealand Soil Invertebrates
Photograph by Alastair Robertson and Maria Minor
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