Gymnopis multiplicata reaches a body length of up to 500mm. The eye is covered by skin and bone, and can not be seen. The tentacle lies anterior to the eye. Teeth are monocuspid, slightly recurved, slightly arrow head shaped, and diminish in height posteriorly. Splenial teeth are present. The number of teeth increases slowly with age. The vent, is simple, transverse and lobed, and the male intromittent organ has 8-10 elongate lobes and appears fluted when everted. There are mineralized denticles embedded in the annuli of the dermal scales. There are 112-133 primary annuli and 64-117 secondaries. There are two nuchal collars, the anterior one possessing a transverse dorsal groove, and the posterior one grooved but mostly fused with the first primary annulus.
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama
This species occurs in Alta Verapaz, Guatemala, in Honduras and Nicaragua, Costa Rica and adjacent Panama, from sea level to 900m. Found from sea level to 1400 m south to Veragua, Panama.
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
This species is viviparous, with the fetuses recieving maternal nutrition after the yolk has been used up. Metamorphosis occurs while the fetuses are in the oviduct. Fetuses are thought to scrape their teeth along the oviduct wall to stimulate cell turnover and secretion of nutrients. Fetuses possess tiramous gills that are resorbed before birth. Gestation period is about 11 months. Females reproduce every two years, bearing 2-10 offspring. Males are spermatogenic from February to November.
A Spanish-language species account can be found at the website of Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad (INBio).
Featured in Amazing Amphibians on April 15, 2013
Wake, M. H. (1963). ''Gymnopis multiplicata.'' Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles. American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, 411.1-411.2.
Written by April Robinson (holden AT uclink4.berkeley.edu), UC Berkeley
First submitted 2001-02-26
Edited by Tate Tunstall; updated by Ann T. Chang (2013-05-07)
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