Ichthyophis orthoplicatus


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Ichthyophis orthoplicatus
Species Authority: Taylor, 1965
Common Name(s):
English Pattipola Caecilia
Taxonomic Notes: 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: Vulnerable B1ab(iii) 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, Mark Wilkinson, David Gower, Alex Kupfer
Reviewer(s): Global Amphibian Assessment Coordinating Team (Simon Stuart, Janice Chanson and Neil Cox)
Listed as Vulnerable because its Extent of Occurrence is less than 20,000 km2, it is known from fewer than ten locations, and there is continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat in Sri Lanka.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is endemic to the mountains of south-central Sri Lanka. It has been recorded at elevations between 460 and 1,800m asl.
Sri Lanka
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: There is no information on the population status of this species, but it does not appear to be common.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It is a subterranean species present in evergreen forests, rubber plantations, tea plantations, paddy fields, rural gardens and farms, wetlands (boggy areas), and cattle pastureland. However, it appears to be less adaptable than Ichthyophis glutinosus. The adults are often found in humus. It is assumed to be oviparous with terrestrial eggs and aquatic larvae.
Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The species might be threatened locally by extreme habitat loss, due to agroindustry and clear cutting, and agro-chemical pollution (land and water-based).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It has been recorded from the Namunakula Reserve Forest and Horton Plains National Park.

Bibliography [top]

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

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.

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.

Seto, T. and Nussbaum, R.A. 1976. Mitotic and meiotic chromosomes of Ichthyophis orthoplicatus Taylor (Amphibia: Gymnophiona). Caryologia: 317-331.

Taylor, E.H. 1965. New Asiatic and African caecilians with redescriptions of related species. University of Kansas Science Bulletin: 253-302.

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, Mark Wilkinson, David Gower, Alex Kupfer 2004. Ichthyophis orthoplicatus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 03 September 2015.
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 provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided