South Sister St. Marys, Tasmania

the invertebrates

Blind Velvet Worm Giant
Velvet Worm
Blind Velvet Worm Giant Velvet Worm

There are two worms whose habitats are found in the South Sister: the blind velvet worm Tasmanipatus anophthalmus and the giant velvet worm T. barretti. These worms are of special significance as they are not found elsewhere in Australia or the world. They are found in moist areas where there are rotting logs and they feed on insects and other litter-dwelling invertebrates. Any logging of this area and the subsequent burning of cleared vegetation, will reduce the potential habitat for both of these worms. The blind velvet worm, listed as endangered (Tasmanian Threatened Species List), is restricted to about 160 square kilometres in the north east of Tasmania around St Marys. The giant velvet worm, listed as rare (Tasmanian Threatened Species List), has a slightly larger area of about 600 square kilometres which centres around Scamander, but extends as far south as the South Sister. Numerous worms have been recorded in this area in the past.

The line of parapatry is found just north of the coupe. This is a geographical line which demarcates the two species. There is no crossing of this line and zoologists consider that this line (only 4 known about in Australia and a few dozen in the world) is of special conservation significance in its own right. See reports by Alasdair Richardson and Peter McQuillan for more information.

To date, 90 species of moths have been identified however it is expected that there will be many more than this. There are a few species which have not been identified in Tasmania previously and an additional six that have not been recorded in any Tasmanian National Park.

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