Onychophora commonly known as Velvet Worm, Eoperipatus sp. nov. of Sarawak / Borneo

Velvet worms are hardly known from Borneo, there are only a handful of documented animals and even fewer animals that have been photographed. Most animals were labeled as Eoperipatus horsti Evans, 1901, but this is definitely wrong, as this species comes from West Malaysia and all velvet worms from Borneo are unknown species. The first documented velvet worms were found by Eric Mjoberg in the 1920s, and more were found between 1979 and 1982 in the Kapit region and Mulu. But it remains the case that this group of animals is one of the most poorly researched in Borneo and extremely difficult to find. I have been looking for this one Species for over ten years.

Onychophora are predatory organisms that are able to prey on animals that are considerably larger than themselves. They usually track down potential victims with the help of their antennae and then pursue them into the smallest gaps. While smaller prey is killed immediately, in the case of larger prey they use a white glue-like liquid with a high protein content, which is produced by the two mucous glands and “sprayed” onto the victims to immobilize them.