Onychophora Newsletter

No. 1 December 1987

Editor and publisher: J. Monge-Nájera.

Editorial Board: B. Morera, C.E. Valerio, J.A. Vargas


Once you have your first experience with an onychophoran, it is. ditticult to remain uninterested in this singular group. Worldwide, there is a handful of researchers working with them and this newsletter intends to inform each what the others are doing. In the future, if there is a good response from our readers. we will boost exchange of ideas, expecimens, reprints, photocopies of otherwise unavailable papers, etc. We look forward for news from you, and begin publication with a list of researchers (printed edition only, available at the Library, British Museum, currently Museum of Natural History, Cromwell Road, London) and with some news. Receive our greetings from the country that proportionally protects the largest natural area in the World.

J. Monge-Nájera

A "proto-onychophore" from India?

In the abstracts of the recent VII International Congress of Myriapodology in Italy, Dr. G. Sundara-Rajulu reported the discovery of a worm that he described as a "proto-onychophoran". According to the report: the animal has at least 42 segments, measures about 26 mm in lenght and has a thin cuticle which contains alpha-chitin, and several live specimens were extracted from sponges collected in the Gulf of Bengala, India.

Although the most likely determination would place it within the Polychaeta, the papilate circular lip that surrounds the terminal mouth is unknown in the polychaetes. We look eagerly for details, since Dr. Rajulu did not attend the meeting and thus his paper will not be published in the memoirs of the symposium, which nevertheless will include several very interesting papers on onychophorans. Those interested in obtaining the volume should contact Dr. Alessandro Minelli, Universita de Padova, Dpto. di Biologia, Via Loredan 10, I 35100 Padova, Italy.


Later publications claimed that the animals were indeed polychaetes. For a popular account see the book:

Barrientos, Z. & J. Monge-Nájera. 1995. The biodiversity of Costa Rica. Readings for ecotourists. INBio, Heredia, Costa Rica (or look for "INBio" at the WorldWideWeb).