- Although sometimes mistakenly called a “rubber eel,” caecilians are neither fish, nor snakes, nor worms, but amphibians. They take breath from the surface and can also breathe through their skin like other amphibians such as frogs and salamanders.
- Most species of caecilians live underground and are rarely seen by humans.
Aquatic caecilians are limbless. Young are born with external gills which help them survive the birthing process. They are dark grey or black in color, with ringed body segments and skin covering their eyes. They can sense light and dark shapes with their covered eyes. Adults reach between 17 – 21 inches in length. They have a strong skull which they can use for digging or burrowing.
Aquatic caecilians are found in seasonally flooded grasslands, rivers, marshes and lakes in the Amazon region of Colombia and Venezuela. They hunt by using their sense of smell and feed on invertebrates, including insects and worms.
Females give birth to 3 – 7 live young after a gestation period of 220 days. After their first year, juveniles are half the size of an adult.
Status In The Wild
Least Concern – IUCN 2004
Location in the Zoo
South American Tropical Rainforest and Aviary