Ichthyophis glutinosus


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Ichthyophis glutinosus
Species Authority: (Linnaeus, 1758)
Common Name(s):
English White-bellied Caecilia, Sticky Caecilian, Glutinous Caecilia, Common Yellow-banded Caecilian, Ceylon Caecilian, White-bellied Caecilian
Caecilia glutinosa Linnaeus, 1758
Taxonomic Notes: This is a poorly circumscribed species in need of taxonomic review (M. Wilkinson pers. comm.). Specimens from Welegama resemble Ichthyophis glutinosus, but appear to be more closely related to I. orthoplicatus. They could represent an undescribed cryptic species (Gower et al. 2005).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2004
Date Assessed: 2004-04-30
Needs updating
Assessor(s): Kelum Manamendra-Arachchi, Anslem de Silva, David Gower, Mark Wilkinson, Oommen V. Oommen
Reviewer(s): Global Amphibian Assessment Coordinating Team (Simon Stuart, Janice Chanson and Neil Cox)
Listed as Least Concern since, although its Extent of Occurrence is probably less than 20,000 km2, it is common and adaptable with a presumed large population, and it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is endemic to central and southwestern Sri Lanka. It has been recorded at elevations of 50-1,355m asl. A record from northeastern India has been disputed, and is highly improbable.
Sri Lanka
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: At places within its range it appears to be locally abundant.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It is a subterranean species present in evergreen forests, paddy fields, rubber plantations, rural gardens and farms, wetlands (boggy areas), and cattle pastureland. Adults are often found in humus, dung and rotten vegetation; the eggs are laid on land and the larvae live in flowing water.
Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The species might be threatened locally by extreme habitat loss and agro-chemical pollution (both land and water based). However, overall it is a very adaptable species that is not significantly threatened.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It has been recorded from the well-protected areas of Sinharaja World Heritage Site, Dellawa Forest Reserve, Knuckles Range Forest Reserve and the Udawattakele Forest Reserve.

Bibliography [top]

Breckenridge, W.R. 1994. The Ichthyophis in Sri Lanka: a short review. Lyriocephalus: 27-32.

Dutta, S.K. 1997. Amphibians of India and Sri Lanka. Odyssey Publishing House, Bhubaneswar.

Dutta, S.K. and Manamendra-Arachchi, K. 1996. The amphibian fauna of Sri Lanka. Wildlife Heritage Trust of Sri Lanka, Colombo.

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

Gower, D.J., Bahir, M.M., Mapatuna, Y., Pethiyagoda, R., Raheem, D. and Wilkinson, M. 2005. Molecular phylogenetics of Sri Lankan Ichthyophis (Amphibia: Gymnophiona: Ichthyophiidae), with discovery of a cryptic species. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology Supplement: 153-161.

Gundappa, K.R., Balakrishna, T.A. and Shakuntala, K. 1981. Ecology of Ichthyophis glutinosus (Linn.) (Apoda, Amphibia). Current Science: 480-483.

IUCN. 2004. 2004 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 23 November 2004.

Nussbaum, R.A. and Gans, C. 1980. On the Ichthyophis (Amphibia: Gymnophiona) of Sri Lanka. Spolia Zeylanica: 320-332.

Nussbaum, R.A. and Treisman, G. 1981. Cytotaxonomy of Ichthyophis glutinosus and I. kohtaoensis, two primitive caecilians from southeast Asia. Journal of Herpetology: 109-113.

Pillai, R.S. and Ravichandran, M.S. 1999. Gymnophiona (Amphibia) of India - A taxonomic study. Records of the Zoological Survey of India (Occ. Paper) 172: 1-117.

Renous, S., Exbrayat, J.-M. and Estabel, J. 1997. Traces of limbs in living Gymnophiona (Amphibia). Annales des Sciences Naturelles Zoologie et Biologie Animale: 11-26.

Sarasin, P. and Sarasin, F. 1887. Ergebnisse Naturwissenschaftlicher. Forschungen auf Ceylon. Zweiter Band: Zur Entwicklungsgeschichte und Anatomie der ceylonesischen Blindwühle Ichthyophis glutinosus. 1887-90. L. Keidel’s Verlag, Wiesbaden.

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

Citation: Kelum Manamendra-Arachchi, Anslem de Silva, David Gower, Mark Wilkinson, Oommen V. Oommen 2004. Ichthyophis glutinosus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 01 September 2015.
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