oa Annals of the Natal Museum - A review of the Onychophora of South Africa, with discussion of their conservation

Volume 38, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0304-0798



There are nine descriptionbed species of Onychophora (Peripatopsidae) in South Africa, two in Opisthopatus Purcell, 1899 and seven in Peripatopsis Pocock, 1894. These species are redescriptionbed, illustrated and keyed to facilitate future ecological and biodiversity studies. The nine species almost certainly form an incomplete list, as it appears that there are at least another five undescriptionbed species. Taxonomic investigations using molecular techniques and scanning electron microscopy will almost certainly also reveal many new species, these currently confused with descriptionbed taxa. Information on the biology, phylogeny and possible species diversity of South African Onychophora is also given. Conservation of these onychophorans is discussed, and recommendations made for the new IUCN Categorisation of the threatened species: Opisthopatus roseus Lawrence, 1947 (VU), Peripatopsis alba Lawrence, 1931 (VU), P. clavigera Purcell, 1899 (1c) and P. leonina Purcell, 1899 (CR). Suggestions for conservation management and legal protection are also given.

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Article metrics loading...


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error