Map_thumbnail_large_font

Dermophis mexicanus

Status_ne_offStatus_dd_offStatus_lc_offStatus_nt_offStatus_vu_onStatus_en_offStatus_cr_offStatus_ew_offStatus_ex_off

Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA AMPHIBIA GYMNOPHIONA DERMOPHIIDAE

Scientific Name: Dermophis mexicanus
Species Authority: (Duméril & Bibron, 1841)
Common Name(s):
English Mexican Caecilian
Spanish Tapalcua
Synonym(s):
Dermophis eburatus Taylor, 1968
Dermophis septentrionalis Taylor, 1968
Gymnophis clarkii Barbour, 1926
Siphonops mexicanus Duméril & Bibron, 1841
Taxonomic Notes: The conspecificity of the disjunct populations needs to be assessed.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable A2ac ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-01-01
Assessor(s): Santos-Barrera, G., Wake, M., Measey, J. & Wilkinson, M.
Reviewer(s): Stuart, S.N., Chanson, J.S., Cox, N.A. & Young, B.E.
Justification:
Listed as Vulnerable because of a population decline, estimated to be possibly more than 30% over the last ten years, inferred from observed decline at known sites, shrinkage in distribution, and habitat destruction and degradation.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is found on the Atlantic slope of southeastern Mexico and disjunctive in eastern Guatemala and northwestern Honduras. It also occurs patchily on the Pacific slope from Oaxaca, Mexico, through Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras to central Nicaragua. It ranges from near sea level to 1200m asl.
Countries:
Native:
El Salvador; Guatemala; Honduras; Mexico; Nicaragua
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species was once common in parts of its range, it is now much diminished in areas of previous abundance (such as near San Marcos, Guatemala) (Marvalee Wake pers. comm., 2007). It is possible that this species may have declined considereably more than 30% over the past ten years or three generation, this is likley to be a conservative estimate (Marvalee Wake pers. comm., 2007). There have been no new records for in Veracruz and Tabasco since around the 1950s, although there has been limited collecting in these areas (Marvalee Wake pers. comm., 2007).
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species lives in humid to dry soils beneath leaf-litter, logs, banana or coffee leaves and hulls or similar ground cover. In El Salvador it is present in dry forest and savanna between sea level and 900m asl (Köhler et al., 2006). It is adaptable to secondary habitats. It is a viviparous species.
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: It appears occasionally in trade in small numbers.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): It is an adaptable species but threatened by habitat loss, and changes in agricultural methods (such as the transformation of shaded coffee plantations to open plantations). It is confused with snakes in some areas, and so it persecuted locally. It sometimes appears in the international pet trade, but not at a level to constitute a threat to the species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It occurs in many protected areas. This species is protected by Mexican law under the "Special Protection" category (Pr).

Bibliography [top]

Ducey, P.K., Formanowicz, Jr, D.R., Boyet, L., Mailloux, J. and Nussbaum, R.A. 1993. Experimental examination of burrowing behavior in caecilians (Amphibia: Gymnophiona): effects of soil compaction on burrowing ability of four species. Herpetologica: 450-457.

Exbrayat, J.-M. and Hraoui-Bloquet, S. 1994. An example of heterochrony: The metamorphosis in Gymnophiona. Bulletin de la Société Zoologique de France: 117-126.

Gower, D.J. and Wilkinson, M. 2005. Conservation biology of caecilian amphibians. Conservation Biology 19(1): 45-55.

IUCN. 2008. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Available at: http://www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 5 October 2008).

Köhler, G., Veselý, M. and Greenbaum, E. 2006. The Amphibians and Reptiles of El Salvador. Krieger Publishing Company, Malabar, Florida.

Savage, J.M. and Wake, M.H. 1972. Geographic variation and systematics of the Middle American caecilians, genera Dermophis and Gymnopis. Copeia: 680-695.

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: 52-64.

Taylor, E.H. 1968. The Caecilians of the World. A Taxonomic Review. University of Kansas Press, Lawrence, Kansas.

Wake, M.H. 1980. Reproduction, growth, and population structure of the central American caecilian Dermophis mexicanus. Herpetologica: 244-256.

Wake, M.H. 1998. Dermophis oaxacae (Mertens). Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles: 1-2.


Citation: Santos-Barrera, G., Wake, M., Measey, J. & Wilkinson, M. 2008. Dermophis mexicanus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 24 July 2014.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please fill in the feedback form so that we can correct or extend the information provided