Herpele squalostoma

Herpele squalostoma

Herpele squalostoma

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Herpele squalostoma

Herpele squalostoma is a species of caecilian in the family Herpelidae. It is also known by the common name Congo caecilian. It is found in Central and extreme easternmost West Africa (southeastern Nigeria, Cameroon, western Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea (including Bioko), Gabon, Republic of the Congo, western Democratic Republic of the Congo, and possibly the Cabinda Province of Angola).

Appearance

The holotype measures 41 cm (16 in). The body is cylindrical and 6–8 mm (0.2–0.3 in) wide. The snout is prominent. The eyes are covered with bone and not visible externally. There are fewer than 135 primary annuli (116–132 in a sample of 112 specimens) and 12–16 secondary annuli that do not reach round the body. In preservative, the body is dark olive in colour and is marked with minute yellowish spots.

Mating Habits

A female measuring 36 cm (14 in) in total length has been unearthened with a clutch of 16 young in moist soil some 0.1 m (4 in) below the surface. The young measured about 11–12 cm (4–5 in) in total length. The largest known eggs of this species measure 3.5 mm × 2.6 mm (0.14 in × 0.10 in). As other herpelids, Herpele squalostoma is probably oviparous. Furthermore, it provides parental care: the young feed on their mother's skin (they are "dermatophagous"). The young probably become independent when they reach a total length of about 10–12 cm (4–5 in).

References

1. Herpele squalostoma Wikipedia article - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herpele_squalostoma
2. Herpele squalostoma on The IUCN Red List site - https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/59565/16958011

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