Geotrypetes seraphini (Duméril, 1859)
© 2014 Brian Freiermuth (1 of 10)
The eyes are completely hidden under the skin and are near the edge of the upper lip. There are about 145 to 155 circular folds from the head to the tip of the caudal appendage (Duméril 1859).
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Cameroon, Congo, Congo, the Democratic Republic of the, Cote d'Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Geotrypetes seraphini has different methods for capturing prey, depending on how the prey is positioned. If Geotrypetes seraphini and the prey meet head on, the caecilian will bite repeatedly. If the prey is met laterally, Geotrypetes seraphini grabs it with its jaws, pulling the prey further into its burrow, and continues by spinning its body rapidly so that the walls of the burrow are used to damage the body further (Bennett and Wake 1974).
The snake Midon acanthias is known to prey on Geotrypetes seraphini by pursuing it a short distance into its burrow. In order to escape predation, Geotrypetes seraphini uses its burrow as a refuge and rapidly retreats deeper into it (Bennett and Wake 1974).
Geotrypetes seraphini is primarily dependent on an anaerobiosis process for energy production, and becomes fatigued within a couple of minutes of high levels of activity (Bennett and Wake 1974).
Trends and Threats
Relation to Humans
Duméril named this species on behalf of Mr. Séraphin Poacher (Duméril 1859). Geotrypetes seraphini is synonymous with Caecilia seraphini (Duméril 1859, Loader et al. 2004)
Duméril, A.M.C. (1859). ''Reptiles et poissons de l’Afrique occidentale. Étude précédée de considérations générales sur leur distribution géographique. .'' Archives du Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle, 10, 137-268.
Loader, S., Rödel, M.-O., Wilkinson, M. (2004). Geotrypetes seraphini. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded on February 2015.
Wake, M. H. (1977). ''Fetal maintenance and its evolutionary significance in the Amphibia: Gymnophiona.'' Journal of Herpetology, 11, 379-386.
Wake, M.H. (1987). ''A New Genus of African Caecilian (Amphibia: Gymnophiona).'' Journal of Herpetology, 21(1), 6-15.
Wake, M.H., Bennet, A.F (1974). ''Metabolic Correlates of Activity in the Caecilian Geotrypetes seraphini.'' Copeia, 1974(3), 764-769.
Wilkinson, M., San Mauro, D., Sherratt, E., Gower, D.J. (2011). "A nine-family classification of caeclians (Amphibia: Gymnophiona)." Zootaxa, 2874(1), 41-64. [link]
Originally submitted by: Tamar Garcia (first posted 2015-02-19)
Edited by: Ann T. Chang (2021-07-15)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2021 Geotrypetes seraphini: Gaboon Caecilian <https://amphibiaweb.org/species/1887> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed May 30, 2023.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2023. <https://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 30 May 2023.
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