Johannesburg - Two new species of velvet worms have been discovered by a research group from Stellenbosch University, News 24 reported on Monday.

The research group from the department of botany and zoology at the university “found significant differences” in the worms, enough to qualify them as a new species.

The elusive worms live in rotten logs, are nocturnal, and are an indicator of an ecosystem's health, as they prey on small insects as part of the food chain.

The same type of worms are found in Australia, New Zealand, and Brazil.

The research group's findings were published in Zootaxa.

The group compared sample worms to those from the Iziko Museum in Cape Town. They also used GPS to trace where samples were taken. - Sapa