AmphibiaWeb - Luetkenotyphlus fredi


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Luetkenotyphlus fredi Maciel, Castro, Sturaro, Silva, Ferreira, Santos, Risse-Quaioto, Barboza, Oliveira, Sampaio & Schneider, 2019
family: Siphonopidae
genus: Luetkenotyphlus
Species Description: Maciel AO, TM de Castro, MJ Sturaro, IE Costa Silva, JG Ferreira, R dos Santos, B Risse-Quiaoto, BA Barboza, JCF Oliveira, I Sampaio, H Schneider. 2019. Phylogenetic systematics of the Neotropical caecilian amphibian Luetkenotyphlus (Gymnophiona: Siphonopidae) including the description of a new species from the vulnerable Brazilian Atlantic Forest. Zoologischer Anzeiger 281: 76-83.
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account
National Status None
Regional Status None



View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.


Leutkenotyphlus fredi is a tailless caecilian with a male total length ranging from 373 - 378 mm based on three males and a female total length of 206 mm from one female. The total length is about 65.4 times the body width. The body is sub-cylindrical with a body width that slightly varies, being smaller near the vent. The head is somewhat more narrow than the body. In the lateral view, the margin of the upper jaw appears slightly convex, with the convex line broken by a sharp angulation at a point equidistant from the eye and nostril. In the dorsal, ventral, and lateral views, the snout is rounded. The oval nostrils face dorsolaterally and are visible from above and not below. The nostrils are farther from the margin of the mouth than the eyes are. The circular tentacular openings are slightly elevated and visible from the dorsal view. They are closer to the eyes than to the nostrils, and are closer to the margin of the mouth than the eyes are. Visible in the dorsal and lateral views, the eyes are small, having a diameter of about 0.4 mm, and are covered with a translucent epidermis. The eyes are closer to the mouth corner than they are to the nostrils.The first nuchal groove is distinct and interrupted dorsally, while the second and third nuchal grooves are dorsally, laterally, and ventrally distinct. The first nuchal collar is about 2 mm, which is shorter than the second nuchal collar that is about 3.6 mm long. Each collar has a single transverse groove on the dorsal side, which is slightly larger in the second nuchal collar. The terminal shield is around 4.2 mm wide. The vent is small, transverse, and has eight denticulations, three on the anterior and five on the posterior margin (Maciel et al. 2019).

Luetkenotyphlus fredi can be diagnosed from its congeners, L. brasiliensis and L. insulanus, because it has many more annuli (149 - 154 compared to 119 - 138 in L. brasiliensis and 106 - 112 in L. insulanus) and is bicolored. Compared to L. brasiliensis, L. fredi is much more slender, having a head width of 4.8 mm and body width of 5.7 mm, compared to a head width of 4.9 mm and body width of 5.8 mm in L. brasiliensis (Maciel et al. 2019).

In life, the dorsal side of the head is reddish-purple while the dorsal side of the body is dark purple. The light purple flanks and vent are distinctly paler than the dorsum for the entire body length. The mandible is less-pigmented. In preservative, the dorsum turns dark gray and the ventrum turns light gray (Maciel et al. 2019).

There is no known color variation in L. fredi (Maciel et al. 2019).

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Brazil


View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
The type locality for this species is Mata do Ouvidor, a locality in Itapemirim, state of Espírito Santo, Brazil. This region is a privately-owned semideciduous remnant of the Atlantic Forest. The area is composed of secondary forests with varying conservation levels. Annual rainfall is about 700 mm, and the average annual temperature is 25ºC (Maciel et al. 2019).

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
It is known that L. fredi occurs at least in sympatry with other caecilians (Maciel et al. 2019).


Based on Maximum Likelihood analysis of 12S, 16S, and COX1 mtDNA genes, L. fredi is sister to the clade composed of L. insulanus and L. brasiliensis (Maciel et al. 2019).

The species is named in honor of Dr. Carlos Frederico Duarte Rocha (known by the name Fred Rocha) for his contributions to worldwide herpetofauna knowledge and his devoted Atlantic forest conservation efforts (Maciel et al. 2019).


Maciel, A.O., de Castro, T.M., Sturaro, M.J., Costa Silva, I.E., Ferreira, J.G., dos Santos, R., Risse-Quaioto, B., Barboza, B.A., Oliveira, J.C.F., Sampaio, I., and Schneider, H. (2019). "Phylogenetic systematics of the Neotropical caecilian amphibian Luetkenotyphlus (Gymnophiona: Siphonopidae) including the description of a new species from the vulnerable Brazilian Atlantic Forest." Zoologischer Anzeiger, 281, 76-83. [link]

Originally submitted by: Madeline Ahn (2023-03-21)
Description by: Madeline Ahn (updated 2023-03-21)
Distribution by: Madeline Ahn (updated 2023-03-21)
Life history by: Madeline Ahn (updated 2023-03-21)
Comments by: Madeline Ahn (updated 2023-03-21)

Edited by: Ann T. Chang (2023-03-21)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2023 Luetkenotyphlus fredi <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Apr 18, 2024.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2024. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 18 Apr 2024.

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