Common name: Black Caecilian
Scientific name: Caecilia nigricans

Kingdom:Animalia  

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Amphibia

Order: Gymnophiona

Family: Caeciliidae

Genus: Caecilia

Species:C. nigricans

The Caecilia Nigrican is one of the most interesting Amphibians in the world. Caecilia Nigricans can grow at least 4 to 63 inches long. Their bodies are covered with scales that are one color, dark. When you think of a Caecilian you ask yourself, “ What would it look like if I come across a caecilian?” Well, for one thing, they are long, worm-like, legless animals that have no tail. They can be found in Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, Africa and India. These places are tropical rainforest, grasslands and stream banks. The only reason why they live in tropical rainforests is that the soil is moist and fertile. This makes it easy for them to burrow through the soil. Most caecilians lay eggs in their burrows and protect them until they hatch, but it is unsure how many eggs they lay.

 

If you did find one then you would be holding 1 caecilian out of 107 species. Caecilians eat is other caecilians, worms, caterpillars, termites and small burrowing snakes. Like other Amphibians they have to fight for food. They fight against other caecilians or snakes for the same food. They have needle-like teeth to clamp on to their food or to fight for food. They control small arthropods population by eating them.


Are they close to extinction? No, right now this is Entomologists least concern because there are 107 species left. Caecilia Nigricans use their glands in their skin to protect themselves from other predators. They hunt till dawn to dusk. They’re hunters that “sit-and-wait” for their prey. They hide in their burrows until their prey comes along.  They turn in already dug holes to maintain good soil condition. Since the Caecilia Nigricans are low in the food chain and there isn’t a lot of them it hasn’t come to scientist attention yet.

 

Author: Guy D.

Date Published: 02/2008

 
Photo credit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Dermophis_mexicanus.jpg

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