Peripatopsis clavigera Purcell, 1899

Knysna velvet worm



Taxonomy & Nomenclature



Conservation Status


IUCN RedList status: Vulnerable


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.



South Africa


Anatomy & Morphology



Biology & Ecology










Original scientific description:

Purcell, W. F. (1899). On the South African species of Peripatidae in the collection of the South African Museum. Annals of the South African Museum 2: 331-351.


Other references:

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). Peripatopsis clavigera. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2003: e.T16619A6188958. 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.

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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