Opisthopatus roseus Lawrence, 1947

Pink velvet worm



Taxonomy & Nomenclature



Conservation Status


IUCN RedList status: Critically Endangered


Considered possibly extinct by (Newlands & Ruhberg, 1978; fide Monge-Nájera, 2018), and erroneously listed as extinct by the IUCN RedList in 1996 (Hamer, 2003). It has been recorded in recent decades (Hamer et al., 1997), potentially qualifying as rediscovered.



Ngele Forest, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa


Anatomy & Morphology



Biology & Ecology










Baillie, J. and Groombridge, B. (eds). (1996). 1996 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals. pp. 378. International Union for Conservation of Nature, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

Groombridge, B. (ed.). (1994). 1994 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

Hamer, M. L. (2003). Opisthopatus roseus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2003: e.T15389A4559335. Accessed on 14 May 2023.

Hamer, M. L., Samways, M. J. and Ruhberg, H. (1997). A review of the Onychophora of South Africa, with discussion of their conservation. Annals of the Natal Museum 38: 283-312.

Lawes, M. J. and Eeley, H. 2000. Where have all the forests gone? A brief history of forest use in KwaZulu-Natal. African Wildlife 54: 16-19.

Lawrence, R.F. 1947. Note on a new species of Opisthopatus (Onychophora). Annals of the Natal Museum 11: 165-168

Manton, S. (1938). Studies on the Onychophora VI. The life history of Peripatopsis. Annals and Magazine of Natural History 11: 515-529.

Monge-Nájera, Julián. (2018). City Worms (Onychophora): why do fragile invertebrates from an ancient lineage live in heavily urbanized areas? UNED Research Journal 10(1): 91-94.

Newlands, G. and Ruhberg, H. (1978). Onychophora. In: Werger M.J.A. (eds) Biogeography and Ecology of Southern Africa. Monographiae Biologicae, vol 31. Dordrecht: Springer.


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