Submissions from as far afield as Costa Rica and Germany have been made to the Dunedin City Council to protect the habitat of a killer worm which lives beside the Caversham Highway.

A colony of peripatus worms has been quietly protected and encouraged in a dank Caversham forest by council staff and Forest and Bird for more than a decade.

The New Zealand Transport Agency wants a change of designation along State Highway 1 through the Caversham Valley.

Council senior planner Paul Freeland said a total of 46 submissions had been received, with 41 submissions made in opposition to the work.

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A peripatus worm kills prey by injecting spit to dissolve the innards, before sucking out the juice.

- OTAGO DAILY TIMES