Peripatopsis capensis sensu

E, Dane, Ruhberg, Hilke & Daniels, Savel R., 2012, Two new Peripatopsis species (Onychophora: Peripatopsidae) from the Western Cape province, South Africa, Zootaxa 3380, pp. 55-68: 57-58

publication ID 10.5281/zenodo.211469


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scientific name

Peripatopsis capensis sensu


Peripatopsis capensis sensu   lato

Principal specific characters (modified after Purcell 1899, Ruhberg 1985, and Hamer et al. 1997):

Colour and patterning: Dorsal coloration either dark brown/slate black to olive green/bluish black or rust orange. Dark dorsal midline with orange or light lateral band above legs along entire body. Ventral coloration creamy white to orange.

Legs: 17 + 1, seldom 18 + 1 (last leg pair strongly reduced lacking claws and spinous pads). Dorsal foot surfaces with ridges in most cases. 3–4 complete spinous pads. Distinct crural tubercle present on last pregenital leg (table 1).

Integument: 7–8 plicae between feet. Generally semicircular primary dermal papillae with 4–7 scale ranks. Antennae brown/black to dark indigo. 5–8 rows of chemoreceptors at antennal tips. Mouth surrounded by 13–17 oral lips.

Male genital area: Gonopore cruciform or with “horizontal arms” pointing slightly towards anus. Anterior genital pads larger than posterior pads.

Behaviour: Does not spiral when initially exposed (compared to P. b a l f o u r i, which curls up spirally, see Hamer et al. 1997).

Habitat: Afromontane forest patches and surrounding fynbos (sometimes within or under pine logs, e.g. Rhodes Memorial). Collected inside or under decaying logs, leaf litter, and stones, generally close to streams.

Distribution: Southern parts of the Western Cape province, including the Cape Peninsula, Theewaterskloof- Overstrand, and Overberg regions.