Onychophora collections

A velvet worm

A velvet worm © Geoff Gallice

The phylum Onychophora contains the class Onychophorida. The creatures in this class are close relatives of the Arthropoda and Tardigrada, but do not have a hard exoskeleton.


The Museum’s Onychophora collection contains approximately 49 species.

One thousand slides of specimens in cross section were recently donated to the collection.

Material type

The collection is housed mainly in alcohol, but there are also a sizeable number of microscope slides.

Looking for a specimen?

The Onychophora collection is being digitised


Miranda Lowe

If you would like to use any specimens for research   

Accessing the collections

Scientists and collections management specialists can visit the collections and borrow specimens for research.

Collections management

Our duty is to provide a safe and secure environment for all of our collections.

Collections on the move

We have set out on an ambitious programme to develop a new science and digitisation centre. As we prepare for the move, access to some collections will be affected. 

Find out more and sign up to our newsletter to receive updates on changes to collections access, relevant news and opportunities to get involved.