Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Gymnophiona Ichthyophiidae

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 Source(s): Frost, D.R. 2013. Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 5.6 (9 January 2013). Electronic Database. American Museum of Natural History, New York, USA. Available at:
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.
Countries occurrence:
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.
Current Population Trend: Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

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.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
suitability: Suitable  
1. Forest -> 1.8. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Swamp
suitability: Suitable  
1. Forest -> 1.9. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Montane
suitability: Suitable  
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.1. Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Rivers/Streams/Creeks (includes waterfalls)
suitability: Suitable  
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.2. Wetlands (inland) - Seasonal/Intermittent/Irregular Rivers/Streams/Creeks
suitability: Suitable  
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.3. Wetlands (inland) - Shrub Dominated Wetlands
suitability: Suitable  
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.4. Wetlands (inland) - Bogs, Marshes, Swamps, Fens, Peatlands
suitability: Suitable  
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.2. Artificial/Terrestrial - Pastureland
suitability: Marginal  
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.3. Artificial/Terrestrial - Plantations
suitability: Suitable  
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.4. Artificial/Terrestrial - Rural Gardens
suitability: Suitable  
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.6. Artificial/Terrestrial - Subtropical/Tropical Heavily Degraded Former Forest
suitability: Suitable  
15. Artificial/Aquatic & Marine -> 15.7. Artificial/Aquatic - Irrigated Land (includes irrigation channels)
suitability: Suitable  
15. Artificial/Aquatic & Marine -> 15.8. Artificial/Aquatic - Seasonally Flooded Agricultural Land
suitability: Suitable  

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over entire range
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
1. Research -> 1.1. Taxonomy
1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

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 2004: e.T59618A11969482. . Downloaded on 07 October 2015.
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