Boulengerula taitana

Boulengerula taitana

Boulengerula taitana, Taita african caecilian, Taita hills caecilian, Taita mountains caecilian

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Boulengerula taitana

Boulengerula taitana (common names: Taita African caecilian, Taita Hills caecilian, Taita Mountains caecilian) is a species of caecilian. It is endemic to the Taita Hills region of southeast Kenya.

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Boulengerula taitana habitat map
Boulengerula taitana habitat map
Boulengerula taitana
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Habits and Lifestyle

Lifestyle

Diet and Nutrition

Generally, Boulengerula are believed to be predators of soil macrofauna. The large proportion of decaying plant material and unidentifiable organic matter in guts of Boulengerula taitana has led to a suggestion that it is an omnivore or detritivore. However, the organic matter and soil in their diet seems to originate from prey items such as earthworms. Other important dietary items are termites, dipteran larvae and other soil macrofauna.

Mating Habits

Boulengerula taitana is an egg-laying burrowing caecilian. Because young specimens do not have the same tooth structure as adults, Boulengerula taitana has developed a strange habit. Once the young have hatched, the mother develops a thick, nutritious skin which the young eat. This does not appear to harm the adult. This behaviour is also found in its South American relative Siphonops annulatus.

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The skin-feeding behavior of the young was captured on film for the BBC series Life in Cold Blood (released in 2008).

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References

1. Boulengerula taitana Wikipedia article - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boulengerula_taitana
2. Boulengerula taitana on The IUCN Red List site - https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/59498/16944134

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