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Slimy Rarity | by antonsrkn
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Slimy Rarity

Caecilia tentaculata - El Oro Province, Ecuador

 

This is an in-situ photo of a caecilian from Ecuador, this is exactly as I found it when it was going about its business presumably looking for tasty worms to eat one rainy night. This is only my 2nd caecilian ever, I actually found the first living one several hours prior to this individual. I had known they were in the area because we had come across a dead one on the road prior and upon seeing that I was determined to search the area until I found a living example. I knew that no matter how much I searched it might all lead to nothing but luck was on my side and I was actually able to find two! At the time I didn't know it, but assuming that my ID of this species is correct this may actually be a significant range extension. However first I need to make sure I have it properly identified. Caecilians are notoriously difficult to find and little is known of them, they spend most of their time underground and only rarely emerge. I was very fortunate to have gotten a chance to see my first ever wild caecilians, despite further efforts I never found any others despite more searches in the area.

 

Of the three amphibian orders, Anura (frogs and toads), Caudata (salamanders and newts), and Gymnophiona (caecilians), Caecilians represent the least known. They are restricted to the tropics and live either aquatic or subterranean lives which makes encounters with people rare.

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Taken on January 25, 2015