(Based on Bhatta 1998): Gegeneophis ramaswamii is a large species with a body length reaching 340 mm (Taylor 1968). The body is gray dorsally and light grey ventrally. The terminus of the body is wider than elsewhere. The eyes are invisible. The first and second nuchal grooves are distinct on the dorsum, venter and at the sides. There is a short transverse groove on the first collar.
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: India
This is the most common species of caecilian in the Western Ghats, India (Oommen et al. 2000). One specimen has been collected from Tamil Nadu; the others are all from Kerala. None have been collected north of 8°58'N. Many have been found in cultivated habitats, particularly plantations, and most have been found under the soil, though some were under logs or litter. It seems to be widespread and not restricted to the lowlands (Oommen et al. 2000).
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Gegeneophis ramaswamii is a terrestrial species, but little is known regarding its behavior and life history.
Relation to Humans
Unknown. The reclusive nature of caecilians results in little direct interaction with humans. Oommen et al. (2000) suggest that the abundance of this species may impact the soil in the area, but there is no data to support this theory.
Bhatta, G. (1998). ''A field guide to the caecilians of the Western Ghats, India.'' Journal of Bioscience, 23, 73-85.
Oommen, O.V., Measey, G.J., Gower, D.J., and Wilkinson, M. (2000). ''Distribution and abundance of the caecilian Gegeneophis ramaswamii (Amphibia: Gymnophiona) in southern Kerala.'' Current Science, 79, 1386-1389.
Taylor, E.H. (1968). The Caecilians of the World. A Taxonomic Review. University of Kansas Press, Lawrence, Kansas.
Written by Michelle Knapp (mknapp AT fas.harvard.edu), Harvard University
First submitted 2003-01-09
Edited by Meredith Mahoney (2003-02-03)
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