S. spelaeus is endemic to Jamaica and listed as endangered in 1996. It is still currently being researched. Therefore, we know very little about this type of velvet worm. Velvet worms are land-dwelling creatures that are caterpillar-like in appearance (and they even possess antennae). This species like most velvet worms possess a claw-bearing and flattened cylindrical body-cross section that possess several rows of unstructured body appendages called “stub feet”. The claws range from 0.5 to 20 centimeters. This worm is bright green shown in the picture.

Velvet worms are very secretive as they tend to choose to live in rotting logs and leaf litter. They are also very sensitive to light. They seem very small, but are actually very voracious and active carnivores. They prey on smaller animals like woodlice and small spiders. They capture prey by squirting a sticky slime from their oral tubes. This slime is also used for self-defense when they squirt it in the face of predators which would blind them allowing the worm to escape.

S. spelaeus is a highly endangered species. Threats include its habitat destruction due to industrialization and the draining and burning of wetlands for agricultural purposes.



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