Thursday, 24 March 2016

Peripatus Found!!

Yesterday, we set out into the bush to finally survey the first peripatus quadrat I prepared a few weeks ago (check out my previous post). We searched for about 3 hours sitting in the damp leaf litter. Our muscles were beginning to cramp and our joints were seizing. We'd found lots of interesting looking insects and fungi, but no peripati! 
Audrey and I searching
Can anyone identify this crazy spider?

getting excited about a worm

Beautiful fungus

Just as we were about to give up and go home Fiona let out a squeal. Deep inside a log, she'd found our first peripatus. We decided to keep searching for longer, then I found another. There was no mistaking his velvet body and stumpy legs, as he scurried away deeper into a hole in the log. 

My peripatus

Fiona's peripatus

We carefully placed the peripati into a container and took them back to the office for closer observation, then retuned them once we had finished studying them. We think the two peripati we found are two different species!

We think this guy belongs to the species 
Peripatoides Novaezealandiae 

And we think this guy is a Peripatoides suteri

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