Dermophis gracilior Günther, 1902
|Species Description: Günther, A. C. L. G. (1902). Reptilia and Batrachia. Part 170. Salvin, O., and F. D. Godman eds., Biologia Centrali Americana. Volume 7: 301–308. London, R. H. Porter and Dulau & Co..|
Diagnosis: A relatively robust caecilian with plumbeous (lead-gray) dorsal color, visible eyes, and a head that does not contrast in color with the body (Savage 2002).
Description: Dermophis gracilior is moderately sized and measures up to 387 mm in total length. This is a somewhat robust species, with a total length-to-body width ratio from 23 to 34 in adults. Total annuli number 156 to 208, with 91 to 117 primary annuli and 65 to 96 secondary annuli. Dorsal surface is lead-gray color, while the venter is cream with dark mottling or mostly gray to dull black. The annular grooves are the same shade as adjacent areas (Savage 2002).
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Costa Rica, Panama
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
This is a fossorial species which can sometimes be encountered on the surface and also under rotting logs and surface litter (Savage 2002).
It eats mostly earthworms and termites along with other insect larvae and instars (Savage 2002).
Development may be similar to Dermophis mexicanus in that it occurs within the maternal oviduct; the embryo utilizes yolk for nutrition before emerging from the egg membrane (Wake 1980).
Two to sixteen offspring are produced in a litter, with neonates measuring 110 to 150 mm in total length (Savage 2002). Females are sexually mature at 300 mm or greater in total length (Savage 2002).
Trends and Threats
Possible reasons for amphibian decline
General habitat alteration and loss
This taxon may represent more than one species; see Savage (2002) for comments. It was removed from synonymy with Dermophis mexicanus by Savage and Wake (2001). It was first described by Günther (1902).
A Spanish-language species account can be found at the website of Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad (INBio).
Günther, A. C. L. G. (1902). ''Reptilia and Batrachia. Part 170.'' Biologia Centrali Americana. Volume 7 O. Salvin and F. D. Godman , eds., R. H. Porter and Dulau & Co., London.
Savage, J. M. (2002). The Amphibians and Reptiles of Costa Rica:a herpetofauna between two continents, between two seas. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, Illinois, USA and London.
Savage, J. M., and Wake, M. H. (2001). ''Reevaluation of the status of taxa of Central American caecilians (Amphibia: Gymnophiona) with comments on their origin and evolution.'' Copeia, 2001(1), 52-64.
Solís, F., Ibáñez, R., Chaves, G., Savage, J., Jaramillo, C., Fuenmayor, Q., Wilkinson, M., and Bolaños, F. (2008). Dermophis gracilior. In: IUCN 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.1. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded on 13 May 2010.
Wake, M.H. (1980). "Reproduction, growth, and population structure of the Central American caecilian Dermophis mexicanus (Amphibia: Gymnophiona)." Herpetologica, 36, 244-256.
Originally submitted by: David Chen (first posted 2009-11-04)
Edited by: Kellie Whittaker (2022-08-22)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2022 Dermophis gracilior <https://amphibiaweb.org/species/6011> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Sep 25, 2023.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2023. <https://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 25 Sep 2023.
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