A Gegeneophis differing from G. seshachari Ravichandran, Gower & Wilkinson, 2003, in having many more primary annuli (> 140 vs < 130) and in having a largely unpigmented and very pale head and anterior of body, and from all other nominal species of Gegeneophis in lacking scales and secondary annular grooves, and in having the vent situated within an unsegmented terminal ‘shield’.
Overall shape fairly cylindrical and uniform throughout, very slightly dorsoventrally compressed. Head bullet-shaped in dorsal view; sides converge, particularly so anterior to TAs. In ventral view, lower jaw more bluntly rounded than snout. In lateral view, margins of mouth not strongly curved. Eyes not visible. TAs on imaginary lines between nares and CMs. In lateral view, nares approximately equidistant from top, front and bottom of snout. Nares barely visible in dorsal view, not in ventral view. TA slightly larger than naris on right, subequal on left; on raised bulges visible in dorsal and ventral views. Teeth broken in several places, especially outer rows, but do not appear to differ notably from those of paratypes. Clear diastema between vomerine and palatine teeth at position of choana on right, small tooth sits within what would otherwise be a left diastema. Choanae subcircular, separated by just over the width of single choana. Tongue pigmented; narial plugs obvious with encircling grooves. Nuchal region scarcely more massive than head and anterior body. C1 shorter than C2. Collar grooves faint but seemingly orthoplicate, probably incomplete middorsally and complete midventrally. Single TG faintly indicated on dorsum of each collar. Midventral crease extends from behind mandibular symphysis onto C1. AGs well marked laterally; mostly incomplete middorsally and midventrally, sporadically complete, slightly more so posteriorly, last few notably shorter, confined to dorsolateral surface. Each groove with single row of enlarged granular glands posterior to a narrow darker band on some. No scale pockets or scales. Granular glands more dense and conspicuous on posterior annuli. Bounds of terminal shield not associated with marked change in shape; end of body gently tapers before bluntly rounded terminus, blunter than head. End of terminus including vent slightly upturned. Terminal keel absent. Disc around vent weakly circumscribed; subcircular; vent more or less transverse; denticulations approximately symmetrical about long axis, six anteriorly, five posteriorly. Head cream to pale tan. Pigmentation largely absent on head and anterior of body, anteriormost approximately seven annuli very pale, pigmentation stronger posteriorly. Dorsum of body darker than venter, without abrupt transition laterally. Midventral darker narrow line on anterior half of body. Tip of body terminus pale. Disc around vent slightly paler but denticulations with some peripheral pigmentation. In preservative, colour pattern of holotype is more or less the same as in life (see below) except annular grooves on anteriormost part are more conspicuous.
Colour in life. Observations were made of BNHS 5331 in anaesthesia (MS222) and before fixation. Head unpigmented, pale pink. Tongue very pink. Body darker pink anteriorly, darkening posteriorly to purple and greylilac, slightly paler grey on terminal shield. Body slightly darker above than below, more notable posteriorly (including terminus) with weak, darker, broad middorsal stripe. Eye clearly visible; not within paler eye-tentacle stripe. Disc around vent pale pinkish grey. Short, slightly darker midventral streak just anterior to vent. The smallest specimen (BNHS 5372, 115 mm) seems to have had a more prominent middorsal stripe.
The nuchal region is slightly more massive in some specimens. Visibility and completeness of nuchal grooves are variable, though they are never very well marked dorsally. Eyes are just visible through the skin as minute dark dots in a few specimens, as small dark spots in others and are more clearly visible in some samples, where they are slightly larger than nares and tentacular apertures. Eye covered by bone even where clearly visible, as determined by probing with pin.
In one of the largest specimen of male there is a notably curved upper lip (in lateral view), with the naris substantially further from the lip than from the top and front of the snout; and in having relatively more widely spaced choanae, approximately 1.5 times the width of each choana. The another largest male also has a similar head morphology. Smaller males are more similar to the holotype. These appear to be a combination of ontogenetic and sexually dimorphic variation.
Inside of mouth observed in more detail in some paratypes, especially those with broken jaws. All teeth strongly recurved. Dentary teeth most robust, recumbent and largest, largest of which are anterolateral; corresponding premaxillary maxillary teeth about two-thirds their size; teeth of inner rows substantially smaller. Vomerine and palatine teeth more uniform in size, small diastema at choanae generally present, four or five palatine teeth on each side. Teeth of outer series onocuspid, palatine and IMs bicuspid; accessory cusp not detected on vomerine teeth. Where more than one IM on either side, more lateral teeth very small and set close to larger inner teeth. In lateral view, tips of crowns of some vomerine and palatine teeth just visible posteriorly. Choanae generally separated by
little more than width of each choana. Tongue darkly pigmented with pale, elongate narial plugs surrounded (except posteriorly) by well-defined grooves. Length of tongue anterior to narial plugs much less than behind, and about half width of each plug. Anterior of tongue with broad, free tip.
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: India
This species is only known from four to five localities in the Western Ghats region of southern Goa, India, covering a geographical range of around 50 sq. km. The holotype and paratypes were collected at elevations from 48-140 m asl. These caecilians have been reported from moist soil under a large tree and under piles of compost in an open area behind houses in the village. A few specimens were dug from moist soil beneath compost around the bases of trees (mostly areca nut, coconut and banana) in gardens.
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Very little information is available about the natural history of G. pareshi. These caecilians are relatively common in the area of their occurrence.
Trends and Threats
Presently no threats are reported, but this species is currently considered Data Deficient. They are known to occur in human-modified habitats. Some localities are near a protected forest in Cotigaon Wildlife Sanctuary; it is not yet known whether this species occurs within the protected area.
Relation to Humans
They are not in trade or used as food.
Named in honour of Range Forest Officer Mr. Paresh Porob, in recognition of his dedicated efforts to conserve and promote a love and understanding of wildlife and the natural environment, specially in Goa. For nomenclatural purposes the species epithet is considered a noun in apposition.
Giri, V. B., Gower, D. J., Gaikwad, K. S., and Wilkinson, M. (2011). ''A second species of Gegeneophis Peters (Amphibia: Gymnophiona: Caeciliidae) lacking secondary annular grooves.'' Zootaxa, 2815, 49-58.
Written by Varad B. Giri (info AT varadgiri.com), Bombay Natural History Society, Mumbai, India
First submitted 2011-07-30
Edited by Kellie Whittaker (2011-08-03)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2011 Gegeneophis pareshi: Paresh’s Gegeneophis <http://amphibiaweb.org/species/7640> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Mar 28, 2017.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2017. <http://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 28 Mar 2017.
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