velvet worm?!

krucz36

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discovery channel so rocks. on the "weird nature" porgram, they had a quick piece on the velvet worm...it looks like a centipede with stumpy legs covered in velvet...and it shoots glue out of two glands near the front of it's body! looks analogous to where a 'pede's fangs would be.
anyone know if keeping these beasties is anywhere near legal or possible?
thanks!
g
 

Wade

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Those things are really wierd...I think they're actually in their own Phylum! They're thought by some to be the missing link between segmented worms and arthropods.

I don't think there's any laws against keeping them, but I've never seen any for sale. I did read an article on keeping them once. Apparently, they need a very high humidity environment (no surprise there). I think they'll feed on the usual prey insects.

Fauna magazine had some great pics a year or so ago...

Wade
 

krucz36

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dang. now i need to find death's head moths, velvet worms, AND mantis shrimp. sheeesh. i'm easy
 

Mendi

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I saw this show also and was very intrigued by this velvet worm It is very neat looking and has a pretty color even. I was wondering about them too... Maybe some will show up in the invert market somday :confused:
 

Code Monkey

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Originally posted by El Johano
Yes, the peripatus is a very cool creature.
They are available from time to time here in Europe, never had any though. This place currently has them (but they don't ship overseas):
http://www.easyexotics.co.uk/shop/index.html
There is also a care sheet at this site:
http://www.inverts.co.uk/
Pretty cool, although I am more than slightly leary of any care sheet that starts with this bit of brilliance:
General Care
It is essential for peripatus to be kept moist. They have no control of water entering and leaving their body, other than osmosis and diffusion.
Obviously you do not want osmosis to occur, or your peripatus will explode... so ensure water in thier tank in pure (use a reverse osmosis unit if you have one).
Methinks someone needs to go back to their high school biology class and pay attention this time. First, the way he refers to osmosis and diffusion shows he doesn't actually know what either one is. But the kicker is the caution that the worms can actually take on too much water and die so he recommends only using distilled water to avoid that, yeah, what great information. Since osmotic potential is driven by the dissolved material in the solution, distilled water is the absolute worst water you could use for this purpose assuming his warning is correct - water would continually enter the worm's body trying to create an equal osmotic potential with the external environment, bad, bad, bad.
 

krucz36

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its hard to believe any animal would survive millions upon millions of years with the potential for water to explode it. that's almost as lame as the movie "signs", which is pretty lame.
 

El Johano

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He he, I agree he doesn't sound as he know what he's talking about, but that’s the only care sheet I've found on the peripathus (and not a very good one either)...
From what I've heard from other sources they are very sensitive to dehydration. Unfortunately to much water is also harmful, I'm not sure why but I don't think they will explode :).
As Code Monkey correctly pointed out using distilled water is probably not a good idea (if osmosis is a problem)...
There is more reliable info on the onychophora Yahoo-group, especially one message caught my interest:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/onychophora/message/36
 

Alex S.

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Originally posted by krucz36
dang. now i need to find death's head moths, velvet worms, AND mantis shrimp. sheeesh. i'm easy
Hey Krucz, mantis shrimp are awesome!! Never kept any though, just think they are really cool crustaceans. Amazing aquatic predators huh!!? Along with the coneshell snails (Conus spp.).

Alex S.

P.S. Sorry for going of topic :)
 

krucz36

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well, from what i understand, these worms aren't all that rare, just in some areas they're threatened. tasmania, for instance.
alex: those mantis shrimp are incredible. apparently one of the larger ones is right off the california coast. i'll try to convince the local fish sellers to score some for me. i'll let you know what happens
 

Alex S.

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Mantis Shrimp

Thats great Krucz! Good luck getting those amazing arthropods!

Alex S.
 

Weapon-X

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re

man that is one weird looking invert, very strange, kinda creepy,lol, goood luck hope you get one, maybe you'll breed em, hmmmm---Jeff
 

Wade

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Garth-

You shouldn't have any trouble getting a mantis srimp of one kind or annother. They commonly come in on the "live rock" saltwater aquarium hobbyits use in their tanks. Most of the time, however, they're killed on sight because they'll eat very expensive fish. Some types, that have club-like appendages, can even break the glass of an aquarium! If you ask someone at a fish store to keep an eye out, they could probably get you one for free.

Somwhere I've got an article on the care of velvet worms, I'll see if I can find it.

Wade
 

Wade

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Velvet Worm article

I found the article I mentioned in my previous post. Its from Backyard Bugwatching, the magazine of the Sonoran Arthropod Studies Institute, number 18. It's called "Keeping A Missing Link: The Velvet Worms" and was written by Raymond A. Mendez.

The article focus's on Macroperipatus torquatus , the collared perpatus, which is from Trinidad. He collected them himself, and described the habitat as very moist, river banks, etc. He says he often found them on "weeping" clay banks. Inside the enclosure, he reproduced this habitat by sculpting a clay "bank" inside an aquarium. He used clay with mold inhibator in it. It sounds like he made a rather complex environment for them, with tunnels and chambers.

Before he started using this set-up, he had problems with them dying while molting, but after he started with the clay, he kept them for years, and they even reproduced. The clay must be kept saturated.

No mention is made of them exploding from osmosis.

Wade
 

krucz36

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well the exploding is most likely a reference to the dreaded "exploding himalayan monkey worm" Macrofragus explodyoureye , endemic to southern utah. if irritated, it will combust and lay waste to hundred of square meters of landscape and nature show hosts.
it is recommended one not irritate the "exploding himalayan monkey worm" of southern utah. pet peeves include loudmouths, people who don't "keep it real" and onions.
 

onychophoran

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Putting the record straight!

Methinks someone needs to go back to their high school biology class and pay attention this time. First, the way he refers to osmosis and diffusion shows he doesn't actually know what either one is. But the kicker is the caution that the worms can actually take on too much water and die so he recommends only using distilled water to avoid that, yeah, what great information. Since osmotic potential is driven by the dissolved material in the solution, distilled water is the absolute worst water you could use for this purpose assuming his warning is correct - water would continually enter the worm's body trying to create an equal osmotic potential with the external environment, bad, bad, bad.
I think you're misunderstanding the point of my advice here.
The reference to the "worm's" (which they are most manifestly not - who did you say needed to attend school biology classes?!) body exploding was intended to be rather a jovial and non-serious one. Hence the exclamation mark!
The animals (or at least the species with which the article was concerned, P. novazealandiae) are found in acidic surroundings. Ask any fishkeeper and he will tell you to most practical way of achieving the quite pure, acidic water found in such biotopes is to use DISTILLED or R-O water, together with peat, or a similar commercial treatment.
As you rightly point out, osmosis is driven by the concentration of disolved impurities in the water, and, in my area at least, these are primarily as a result of the dissolved ions making the water alkaline (carbonates etc.) which would have the effect of dessicating the peripatus. I would have recommended rainwater, but this can vary in quality, and in some areas of the country is extrememly polluted.
The required conditions would be damp with water, low in dissolved solids, and reasonably acidic (pH of 6ish), which can be achieved by the methods I have mentioned in the caresheet.

Regarding Les Pickin's article on the same (easyexotics), I would have to refute that the moss should be changed weekly. I can see no advantage to this, and have not done so when keeping these animals (with which I have had a good degree of success, which ages of over 6 months acheived and successful breeding).

It is, however, nice to see a discusion taking place about these fascinating creatures.

Best regards,
Luke Cockle
Author, Inverts.co.uk
 

krucz36

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i'll solve that!
DEM WRMZ IS PERRTTTY!!!1!!! LOL!!1!! THAY MAKEW SPITTING GLUE!1! ROFFLE!
 

onychophoran

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mantis shrimps

Originally posted by krucz36
well, from what i understand, these worms aren't all that rare, just in some areas they're threatened. tasmania, for instance.
alex: those mantis shrimp are incredible. apparently one of the larger ones is right off the california coast. i'll try to convince the local fish sellers to score some for me. i'll let you know what happens
Incidentally, mantis shriimps are common in imports of 'living rock', availible from marine aquatics dealers. Most (if not all) reefkeepers certainly do not want them, and will try to trap them if they appear as unwelcome guests.
Many dealers would probably give you any they had free of charge, along with pistol shrimps, another lodger in living rock, which makes a rather irratating clicking noise, audible some distance outside the aquarium.

The marine fish industry is quite big in many areas of the US, so I'd be sup[ptrised if you couldn't find any anywhere.
There are (I believe), for the benefit of any UK people here, at least two species in the english channel, including the 'original', from which they get their common name, Squillia mantis, although they are both small, and I have yet to see any, despite looking.


As for death's head hawmoths, over here in the UK the larger butterfly farms (worldwide b/flies, S upon A B/fly farm etc.) cetrtainly do stock them not infrequently, and various breeders culture them.
 

krucz36

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well, if you've got some links, or a number, i'd be much obliged.
thanks!
 
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