Uluguru African Caecilian, Uluguru Pink Caecilian
© 2016 Dr. Joachim Nerz (1 of 10)
Boulengerula uluguruensis can be distinguished from B. chamgamwensis by their range distributions only. The former has a range in eastern Tanzania, while B. changamwensis is found in southeast Kenya (Harper et al. 2010). The focal species is distinct from B. boulengeri by the latter having fewer annuli, 125 – 135, and having the blue dorsal coloration (Barbour and Loveridge 1928).
In life, B. uluguruensis is a flesh-like pink that is somewhat transparent. With sight assistance, white dots can be seen at its rear (Barbour and Loveridge 1928). In alcohol, B. uluguruensis is solid and without color. A dorsal band can be seen with the naked eye on some specimen but not on the holotype (Barbour and Loveridge 1928).
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Tanzania, United Republic of
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Trends and Threats
Possible reasons for amphibian decline
General habitat alteration and loss
Other species in the genus Boulengerula share similar life histories with this species, such as oviparity, direct development, and diets consisting of subterranean macroinvertebrates (Gaborieau and Measey 2004).
Based off of Maximum Likelihood and Bayesian analysis of 12S, 16S, and cytb mitochondrial DNA sequences of five Boulengerula species, B. uluguruensis is most closely related to B. changamwensis. The clade composed of B. uluguruensis and B. changamwensis is sister to a clade composed of B. taitanus and B. niedeni. Boulengerula boulengeri is basal to the other four species (Loader et al. 2011).
This species is named after the Uluguru Mountains in northeastern Tanzania where it is found (Barbour and Loveridge 1928).
Measey et al. (2006) hypothesized that B. uluguruensis is more abundant in agricultural zones than forest habitat, but the hypothesis still needs to be tested.
Boulengerula uluguruensis was reclassified (along with two other related taxa: B. changamwensis and B. taitanus) to a new genus named Afrocaecilia by Taylor, E. H. in 1968 because of the perceived differences between it and the type species B. boulengeri. However, Nussbaum and Hinkel reversed this classification in 1994.
Barbour, T. and Loveridge, A. (1928). ''A comparative study of the herpetological faunae of the Uluguru and Usambara Mountains, Tanganyika Territory with descriptions of new species.'' Memoirs of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, L(2), 85-265.
Gaborieau, O., Measey, G.J. (2004). ''Termitivore or detritivore? A quantitative investigation into the diet of the East African caecilian Boulengerula taitanus (Amphibia: Gymnophiona: Caeciliidae).'' Animal biology, 54(1), 45 – 56.
Gower, D.J., Loader, S.P., Wilkinson, M. (2004). ''Assessing the conservation status of soil-dwelling vertebrates: insights from the rediscovery of Typhlops uluguruensis (Reptilia: Serpentes: Typhlopidae).'' Systematics and Biodiversity , 2(1), 79-82.
Harper, E. B., Measey G. J., Patrick D. A., Menegon M., and Vonesh J. R. (2010). Field Guide to Amphibians of the Eastern Arc Mountains and Coastal Forests of Tanzania and Kenya. Camerapix Publishers International, Nairobi, Kenya.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group. (2016). Boulengerula uluguruensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T59499A16944273. Web. (Downloaded on 18 February 2017).
Loader, S.P., Wilkinson, M., Cotton, J.A., G. Measey, J., Menegon, M., Howell, K.M. Müller, H., Gower, D.J. (2011). ''Molecular phylogenetics of Boulengerula (Amphibia: Gymnophiona: Caeciliidae) and implications for taxonomy, biogeography and conservation.'' Herpetological Journal, 21, 5-16.
Measey, G.J., Mejissa, J., Müller, H. (2006). ''Notes on the distribution and abundance of the caecilian Boulengerula uluguruensis (Amphibia: Gymnophiona: Caeciliidae) in the Uluguru Mountains, Tanzania.'' African Journal of Ecology, 44(1), 6-13.
Nussbaum, R.A. and Hinkel, H. (1994). ''Revision of East African caecilians of the genera Afrocaecilia Taylor and Boulengerula Tornier (Amphibia: Gymnophiona: Caeciliaide).'' Copeia, 1994(3), 750-760.
Written by Emir Gokce, Megan Duncanson, Marcus Joyce (egokce AT ucdavis.edu, mduncanson AT ucdavis.edu, mmjoyce AT ucdavis.edu), University of California Davis
First submitted 2017-07-12
Edited by Ann T. Chang (2017-07-12)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2017 Boulengerula uluguruensis: Uluguru African Caecilian <http://amphibiaweb.org/species/1838> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Sep 23, 2019.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2019. <http://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 23 Sep 2019.
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