September 18, 2018

035 Caecilians Caecilians Caecilians

This fortnight we are delving into the peculiar world of caecilians. Fossorial amphibians that seldom show their faces on the surface. We chat about caecilians' strange adaptations and how a ten-year study has shed some light on their reproductive habits. The Species of the Bi-week is a suitably elongated and slimy critter. FULL REFERENCE LIST AVAILABLE AT:


Main Paper References:

Jared, C., Mailho-Fontana, P. L., Jared, S. G. S., Kupfer, A., Delabie, J. H. C., Wilkinson, M., & Antoniazzi, M. M. (2018). Life history and reproduction of the neotropical caecilian Siphonops annulatus (Amphibia, Gymnophiona, Siphonopidae), with special emphasis on parental care. Acta Zoologica, (March), 1–11.

Jared, C., Mailho-Fontana, P. L., Marques-Porto, R., Sciani, J. M., Pimenta, D. C., Brodie, E. D., & Antoniazzi, M. M. (2018). Skin gland concentrations adapted to different evolutionary pressures in the head and posterior regions of the caecilian Siphonops annulatus. Scientific Reports, 8(1), 1–7.

Species of the Bi-Week:

Maddock, S. T., Wilkinson, M., & Gower, D. J. (2018). A new species of small, long-snouted Hypogeophis Peters, 1880 (Amphibia: Gymnophiona: Indotyphlidae) from the highest elevations of the Seychelles island of Mahé. Zootaxa, 4450(3), 359–375.

Other Mentioned Papers/Studies:

Jared, C. et al. (2005). Head co-ossification, phragmosis and defense in the casque-headed tree frog Corythomantis greeningi. Journal of Zoology, 265.

Sawaya, P. (1940) Sobre o veneno das glândulas cutâneas, a secreção e o coração de Siphonops annulatus. Bot. Fac. Fill. Ci. Let. Univ. São Paulo. Ser. Zool. 4, 207–270

Wilkinson, M., Kupfer, A., Marques-Porto, R., Jeffkins, H., Antoniazzi, M. M., & Jared, C. (2008). One hundred million years of skin feeding? Extended parental care in a Neotropical caecilian (Amphibia: Gymnophiona). Biology Letters, 4(4), 358–361.

Wilson, N. J., Stokes, A. N., Hopkins, G. R., Brodie, Jr., E. D., & Williams, C. R. (2014). Functional and physiological resistance of crayfish to amphibian toxins: tetrodotoxin resistance in the white river crayfish (Procambarus acutus). Canadian Journal of Zoology, 92(11), 939–945.

Other Links/Mentions:

BBC Life in Cold Blood -

Video of caecilian babies eating the skin of their mother:


Intro/outro – Treehouse by Ed Nelson

Other Music – The Passion HiFi,

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