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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm a little curious about this subject, and I was wondering if anyone was aware of any information to do with these. I've always been interested in these guys, and the possibility of actually being able to own one (or a few) after much research into them, is tantalizing.

Velvet worms.

I hear they've been making their way into the trade every now and then. I dont know how many species, I dont know when, and I dont know if paperwork is needed for them. I dabble in inverts from time to time, but their by no means my most professional subject, and I'd love to know if anyone has any further information on these guys, where to get them, their care, or indeed if theres any good care sites for them out there that I dont know about.

I know of maybe... one UK website, selling these guys. Imports are apparently rare, their hardly available on said site. Thats about it. : (
Anyway, any further info, and any pointers to other relevant sellers, would be greatly appreciated! Thanks much. ^^ I know it might be a bit of a long shot, but I thought I'd give it a try.
 

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peripitas

great little animals if you can keep the cold enough-room temperature will kill them if your not carefull-happily take micro crickets and give birth to live young which shockingly are about half the size of the adults-i managed to keep a colony going for about two years-kept them next to the milk in my fridge!
 

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Velvet worms

HI All

Just seen this thread and can confirm that room temperature is fine for these, but room temperatures vary a lot, we keep ours at around, or a few degrees above, outside temps. by keeping them in a corridor leading to an unheated room and they do very well and breed happily. I think the biggest loss of these is due to poor husbandary rather than temperature as they come from a similar temperate environment to ours. They do need soft damp rotting timber and soil and must NEVER have tap water or any other chemical contamination.

Also we do have some available if you need any:2thumb:

Anyway happy chrismas to you all, have a good and safe one.

Graham & Janice
 

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HI All

Just seen this thread and can confirm that room temperature is fine for these, but room temperatures vary a lot, we keep ours at around, or a few degrees above, outside temps. by keeping them in a corridor leading to an unheated room and they do very well and breed happily. I think the biggest loss of these is due to poor husbandary rather than temperature as they come from a similar temperate environment to ours. They do need soft damp rotting timber and soil and must NEVER have tap water or any other chemical contamination.

Also we do have some available if you need any:2thumb:

Anyway happy chrismas to you all, have a good and safe one.

Graham & Janice

hi i sent them your way when they posted this thread lol:2thumb:


i will add anyone looking for healthy and well cared for inverts must see graham and janice keep up the good work you two:2thumb:: victory:
 

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Well,ive seen the colonies,and the babies,in an average room (cool),no fridge,and they all lived + bred happily for months until they were sold.
Well, I guess that every rule has it's exceptions.

If it is a NZ species, I would personally be wary of room temps.

Like I said though, I guess that someone can keep an invert in unideal conditions, and it might still survive despite those conditions, not because of them.
 

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I had 5 of these, one of which produced a single juvenile. Sadly, about June time the temperature of even my freezing student house (unheated cupboard) was too warm and they eventually died off.

They do fine so long as the temp is cold (below 16C, even better if below 14C). Keep them on rotting leaf litter/ logs and moss. Fill the tank with springtails, this was all I saw mine attack other than the smallest crickets.

I'd keep them in the fridge, it's easier than dabbling with room temp (18C-22C), which is wholly unsuitable regardless of what has been posted here before (room temp is not normally the temperature of an unheated room!).
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for all of the new information. : ) I've only ever been parry to one single website dealing with them; their availability is... ergh, less than satisfactory, in any way shape or form. But I'm trying to read a lot up on these ones because I've heard a lot of irky things about their upkeep. Its nice to have a few more contacts regarding the animals, I see them very rarely in the trade, so I was curious to look it up more.

... Could air flow of some form via vents be a way forward? A larger tank, also? Keeps the air current moving.. might cool things down a bit. That, and perhaps a pond mister on a timer? Or is that maybe just nit-picking considering they'd be quite happy in a fridge environment?

FYI, our house is laaarge. Our lower livingroom is cold all year round, its generally whatever average temp it is outside - AND we live at the top of a *very* high hill. If I was to estimate, I'd say it was below 12C all year round in the lowest room, thanks to our sucky builders and their sucky insulation. This may however change, via some current installments in our building, and the renovation of a catacomb under the foundations of the house into a collection hall. Something I'll need to be doing. I'll be running around sticking thermometers everywhere and seeing what its like over a year, haha. xD

I've seen one or two MONSTERS in this species before, and I can only hope I'd get to the point where I'd have some big ones like that. Springtails, however, are hard to obtain in my area. (Which sucks.) So that is also something I'm going to have to look into. I can, however, get some VERY tiny crickets, and (I'm not 100% if this is suitable.) fruitfly or fruitfly larvae from a local dealer. Personally I wouldnt go for the fruitflies, but... meh, yeah.

Thanks for the info, everyone. : ) I'll keep looking into these guys!
 

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I had mine in quite a large container (they are about 2" long) with adequate ventilation. They seem to prefer damp conditions rather than humid per se (as in, moist substrate but cool).

I'm not sure if a mister would create conditions too sodden for them, they are very sensitive and certainly reacted badly if I ever caught one with the sprayer accidentally. A good set up of damp logs, decaying leaf mould and bark, with lots of moss seems to create the conditions quite well.

As for springtails - if you go and collect two handfuls of leaves from your garden they will be full of springtails, Acari, spiders* etc, all likely to be under 2mm. Place these in a tank with a decent level of soil and keep damp. Within a couple of weeks you will have lots of tiny springtails and other prey items.

I used to just decant this mixture into the velvet worm tub and let them replicate on their own - from my experience, velvet worms do not eat a huge amount (again, cold and inactivity reducing their need to feed fastidiously) and the Collembola often reach equilibrium populations within the container (and the velvet worms can feed as required without any intervention).

The temps: I cannot say your house is too warm, but I would invest in a good digital thermometer. Leave this in the room you intend to house them in. Try it heated, unheated and leave it to see what the average temps are. Unfortunately, at this time of year it will probably be below 14C which would indicate all is well - the trick however is maintaining low temps in spring/summer when the ambient air temperature peaks above this.

For me personally, I would like to get these again someday - although I would use a fridge, to test it and also (provided successful) to prove the merit of such a technique.

Lastly, the NZ species tend to be small (<6-8cm), the monster species are usually those brightly coloured ones from Africa, which are much rarer and potentially protected. These can tolerate higher temps but I'd suggest that any imported specimens go to established experts on Onychophorans in order to establish a breeding stock.

Hope this helps

Grant

* I removed the spiders, not from fear of them attacking the velvet worms, but because I like to ID such beasties.


Thanks for all of the new information. : ) I've only ever been parry to one single website dealing with them; their availability is... ergh, less than satisfactory, in any way shape or form. But I'm trying to read a lot up on these ones because I've heard a lot of irky things about their upkeep. Its nice to have a few more contacts regarding the animals, I see them very rarely in the trade, so I was curious to look it up more.

... Could air flow of some form via vents be a way forward? A larger tank, also? Keeps the air current moving.. might cool things down a bit. That, and perhaps a pond mister on a timer? Or is that maybe just nit-picking considering they'd be quite happy in a fridge environment?

FYI, our house is laaarge. Our lower livingroom is cold all year round, its generally whatever average temp it is outside - AND we live at the top of a *very* high hill. If I was to estimate, I'd say it was below 12C all year round in the lowest room, thanks to our sucky builders and their sucky insulation. This may however change, via some current installments in our building, and the renovation of a catacomb under the foundations of the house into a collection hall. Something I'll need to be doing. I'll be running around sticking thermometers everywhere and seeing what its like over a year, haha. xD

I've seen one or two MONSTERS in this species before, and I can only hope I'd get to the point where I'd have some big ones like that. Springtails, however, are hard to obtain in my area. (Which sucks.) So that is also something I'm going to have to look into. I can, however, get some VERY tiny crickets, and (I'm not 100% if this is suitable.) fruitfly or fruitfly larvae from a local dealer. Personally I wouldnt go for the fruitflies, but... meh, yeah.

Thanks for the info, everyone. : ) I'll keep looking into these guys!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I think it'd depend on the microclimates of the area, to be honest, enlightenment. Suggesting anything else might very well be a form of scaremongering. If anything, perhaps I'm residential in a very perfect area to begin breeding them myself. Which would be incredibly awesome.

But yeah, even we, here, had one helluva cooker of a summer last year there. Fridge is still going to have to be a fridge, I feel, when it comes to the summers like the one we had 2009 there.

Still, we're probably cooler than most of England. Especially since I live on the top of a hill. Our entire garden is basically Heathers, Marines and Alpines, because we freeze over so hardcore during the winter. I surmise escapes would always be something to watch out for, especially with inverts. Sadly, I feel this is why I cant seem to find Land Planarian's around in the trade here, sadly. Would've loved to study that species.

Not that our earthworm population here is very good, regardless. Last time I seen a worm cast must've been like five years ago.

GRB, I believe I was thinking of something else when we were talking of Springtails. I was thinking along the lines of the little purple-ish blue marine variety. My bad. Pretty sure I'm aware of what your talking about now, but if it is, jee-zus mate, those things are small. Haha. As for moss, I've often been quite awkward with using moss, but this may simply be from my keeping Pacman's a bit. I always get scared if they ingest it.

Thanks again everyone. :) Still studying up on them, but yep, may very well try them out someday.
 
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