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Giant Velvet Worm


Tasmanipatus barrettiGiant Velvet Worm

Group:Onychophora (velvet worms), Onychophora (velvet worms), Onychophora (velvet worms), Peripatopsidae
Status:Threatened Species Protection Act 1995: rare
Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999: Not listed
Found only in Tasmania
Click to enlarge
​The Giant Velvet Worm is a member of a primitive but successful group of animals known from the fossil record back to the Cambrian. The species has a pink/mauve coloured cylindrical body with a pale underside extending to about 75 mm in length when walking. It has 15 pairs of stubby, non-jointed legs. The Giant Velvet Worm is carnivorous and hunts at night. The species occurs in dry and wet eucalypt forest in shaded, moist areas such as stream sides, and is often found in decaying logs or deep litter. It has a restricted range, in the Scamander/St Helens area, and is found from near sea level to about 500 m. Threats come from the loss of habitat, including removal of rotting logs by conversion of native forest to plantation or agriculture, too frequent or high intensity fire and firewood collection. 

A complete species management profile is not currently available for this species. Check for further information on this page and any relevant Activity Advice.​

Key Points

  • Important: Is this species in your area? Do you need a permit? Ensure you’ve covered all the issues by checking the Planning Ahead page.
  • Important: Different threatened species may have different requirements. For any activity you are considering, read the Activity Advice pages for background information and important advice about managing around the needs of multiple threatened species.



Helping the species


Cutting or clearing trees or vegetation










Changing water flow / quality


Use of chemicals




Further information

​Check also for listing statement or notesheet pdf above (below the species image).

​​Cite as: Threatened Species Section (). (): Species Management Profile for Tasmania's Threatened Species Link. ​ ​Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania. Accessed on .

Contact details: Threatened Species Section, Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania​, GPO Box 44, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, 7001. Phone (1300 368 550).

Permit: A permit is required under the Tasmanian Threatened Species Protection Act 1995 to 'take' (which includes kill, injure, catch, damage, destroy and collect), keep, trade in or process any specimen or products of a listed species. Additional permits may also be required under other Acts or regulations to take, disturb or interfere with any form of wildlife or its products, (e.g. dens, nests, bones). This may also depend on the tenure of the land and other agreements relating to its management. ​​​​​