Velvet worms are generally carnivorous, feeding on other small invertebrates such as termites, woodlice, small spiders and small molluscs (2) (5). These animals are largely nocturnal and have an interesting and unusual hunting technique (6). To capture their prey, these worms squirt a sticky white liquid from their oral tubes, which entangles their quarry (2) (5). Digestive juices are then secreted into the prey’s body, and partially-digested tissue is sucked up (6). The sticky slime is also squirted at potential predators in self-defence, giving the velvet worm more time to escape (2) (5). The diet and means of capture of the blind white cave velvet worm (P. alba) may be slightly different, however, due to its unusual environment, but currently remains unknown (7).
The reproductive trends of some Peripatopsis species are unknown, but are likely to be similar to other members of the genus. Thus, gestation for this group is thought to last approximately 12 to 13 months, with around 40 live young produced per year by each female (1) (7). The white cave velvet worm (P. alba), however, is believed to produce only around 20 young per year (1) (7). Sexual maturity is attained by 9 to 11 months and the life span is about six to seven years (1) (7).