AmphibiaWeb - Scolecomorphus kirkii


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Scolecomorphus kirkii Boulenger, 1883
Kirk's Caecilian
family: Scolecomorphidae
genus: Scolecomorphus

© 2016 Dr. Joachim Nerz (1 of 9)
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Least Concern (LC)
National Status None
Regional Status None



View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
View Bd and Bsal data (6 records).

Scolecomorphus kirkii is the largest species of Scolecomorphus; adults range from 215-463 mm in length. There are 130-152 primary annuli. Dorsally, the coloration is lavender-gray; this coloration extends ventrally so that it encroaches on the sides of the venter. Midventral surfaces are flesh or cream colored. The top and sides of the head are dark, but a light area is visible along the tentacle tract. Eyes are located on the tentacles, which allows the eyes to be projected outside the skull when the tentacles are extruded, and the black retina is visible through the skin and skull bones.

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, United Republic of


View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
View Bd and Bsal data (6 records).
Scolecomorphus kirkii occurs in Eastern equatorial Africa in Malawi and Tanzania. Recently they have also been documented from Mount Namuli, Mozambique (Farooq and Conradie 2015). These caecilians inhabit tropical rainforest and agricultural areas in mountainous regions. They are found in surface litters and soils.

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
These caecilians are efficient burrowers. The diet consists of arthropods, with soil also being found in the guts. This species is viviparous.

Trends and Threats
Not threatened.


H.O.M. Farooq and W. Conradie (2015). ''A second record of Scolecomorphus kirkii Boulenger, 1883 (Gymnophiona: Scolecomorphidae) for Mozambique.'' Herpetology Notes, 8, 59-62.

Nussbaum, R. A. (2003). ''Kirk's caecilian, Scolecomorphus kirkii.'' Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia, Volume 6, Amphibians. 2nd edition. M. Hutchins, W. E. Duellman, and N. Schlager, eds., Gale Group, Farmington Hills, Michigan.

Originally submitted by: Peera Chantasirivisal (first posted 2005-09-27)
Edited by: Kellie Whittaker, updated Michelle S.Koo (2015-03-15)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2015 Scolecomorphus kirkii: Kirk's Caecilian <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Sep 24, 2023.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2023. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 24 Sep 2023.

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