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Temporal range: 40–0 Ma
31-Velvet Worm.JPG
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Onychophora
Class: Udeonychophora
Order: Euonychophora
Family: Peripatidae
Evans, 1901

See text

Onychophora dis.png
Global range of Onychophora: Peripatidae in green, Peripatopsidae in red

Peripatidae is a family of velvet worms.[1] The oldest putative representatives of the family herald from Burmese amber dated to the mid-Cretaceous, around 100 Ma, with representatives from Dominican and Baltic amber attesting to a broader distribution in the Palaeogene / Neogene; molecular variability suggests that the family's crown group may have arisen in the early Mesozoic.[2]


The Peripatidae exhibit a range of derivative features. They are longer, on average, than the Peripatopsidae and also have more leg pairs, numbering between 22 and 43—the gonopore is always between the penultimate pair. There are no oviparous species—the overwhelming majority are viviparous. The females of many viviparous species develop a placenta with which to provide the growing embryo with nutrients.[citation needed]


The Peripatidae are restricted to the tropical and subtropical zones; in particular, they inhabit Central America, northern South America, Gabon, Northeast India, and Southeast Asia.[3]



  1. ^ Oliveira I., Hering L., & Mayer, G. "Updated Onychophora checklist". Onychophora Website. Retrieved 24 November 2016. 
  2. ^ Murienne, J.; Daniels, S. R.; Buckley, T. R.; Mayer, G.; Giribet, G. (2013). "A living fossil tale of Pangaean biogeography". Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 281 (1775): 20132648. doi:10.1098/rspb.2013.2648. PMC 3866409Freely accessible. PMID 24285200. 
  3. ^ Oliveira, I. S.; Read, V. M. S. J.; Mayer, G. (2012). "A world checklist of Onychophora (velvet worms), with notes on nomenclature and status of names". ZooKeys. 211: 1–70. doi:10.3897/zookeys.211.3463. PMC 3426840Freely accessible. PMID 22930648.