AmphibiaWeb - Indotyphlidae
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Indotyphlidae

24 species in 7 genera

Commonly Called Indo-African Caecilians


Gegeneophis nadkarnii
Photo by K. P. Dinesh
(Click for family gallery)

These are small, slender caecilians which were formerly placed in Caecilidae. They have a patchy distribution in parts of India, Africa, and the Seychelles islands (Wilkinson et al. 2011).

Indotyphlids are distinguished by the following combination of characters: imperfect stapes, presence of inner mandibular teeth, having some bicusped teeth, eye located at the border of the squamosal and maxillopalatines, and either viviparity plus lack of scales and lack of secondary annuli, or oviparity.

News Highlight
July 11, 2016: Indian biodiversity is concentrated in three major, disjointed, wet-zones: North-East India and the Western and Eastern Ghats of peninsular India. There is little overlap in the biota found in each of these zones, which begs the question of what the biogeographic origins for the biota are in each zone and how the biota are related to each other. Gower et al. 2016 explored these questions using the genus Gegeneophis, which occurs in both the biologically well-explored Western Ghats and the less explored Eastern Ghats, to build a molecular clock. Although the mechanism is still unclear, they found that the only known Eastern Ghats caecilian, Gegeneophis orientalis, split from all Western Ghats at least 35 mya during the late Eocene or early Oligocene. The authors argue for increased exploration of the Eastern Ghats as the region may have provided a moist refugium for a sustained amount of time during the mid-Cenozoic era and thus may have many undescribed, low-vagility, endemic, taxa. (AChang)

Written by AmphibiaWeb

Notable Family Characteristics

  • Inhabits moist tropical rainforests
  • Fossorial
  • Viviparity and oviparity
  • Many species known to show egg-guarding or other parental care
  • Distribution is patchy with members in southern and northeastern India, Seychelles Islands, and Africa in Cameroon and Ethiopia.
Indotyphlidae Richness map

Cartography Credit: Zoe Yoo, UC Berkeley
Range maps sources: AmphibiaWeb, UC Berkeley, and IUCN RedList

Relevant Reference

Wilkinson, M., San Mauro, D., Sherratt, E., and Gower, D. J. 2011. A nine-family classification of caecilians (Amphibia: Gymnophiona). Zootaxa 2874: 41-64.

Pough, F. H., R. M. Andrews, M. L. Crump, A. H. Savitzky, K. D. Wells, and M. C. Brandley. 2015. Herpetology. Fourth Edition. Massachusetts: Sinauer.

Vitt, L. J., and J. P. Caldwell. 2013. Herpetology. An Introductory Biology of Amphibians and Reptiles. Fourth Edition. Amsterdam: Elsevier.

Genus Gegeneophis (12 species)
Gegeneophis carnosus account photos no sound/video
Gegeneophis danieli account photos no sound/video
Gegeneophis goaensis no account photos no sound/video
Gegeneophis krishni no account no photos no sound/video
Gegeneophis madhavai account no photos no sound/video
Gegeneophis mhadeiensis account photos no sound/video
Gegeneophis orientalis no account no photos no sound/video
Gegeneophis pareshi account photos no sound/video
Gegeneophis primus no account no photos no sound/video
Gegeneophis ramaswamii account no photos no sound/video
Gegeneophis seshachari no account photos no sound/video
Gegeneophis tejaswini no account no photos no sound/video

Genus Grandisonia (3 species)
Grandisonia alternans account no photos no sound/video
Grandisonia larvata account no photos no sound/video
Grandisonia sechellensis account no photos no sound/video

Genus Hypogeophis (4 species)
Hypogeophis brevis account no photos no sound/video
Hypogeophis montanus no account no photos no sound/video
Hypogeophis pti no account no photos no sound/video
Hypogeophis rostratus account no photos no sound/video

Genus Idiocranium (1 species)
Idiocranium russeli account no photos no sound/video

Genus Indotyphlus (2 species)
Indotyphlus battersbyi no account photos no sound/video
Indotyphlus maharashtraensis account photos no sound/video

Genus Praslinia (1 species)
Praslinia cooperi account no photos no sound/video

Genus Sylvacaecilia (1 species)
Sylvacaecilia grandisonae no account no photos no sound/video


Citation: AmphibiaWeb: Information on amphibian biology and conservation. [web application]. Berkeley, California: AmphibiaWeb. Available: https://amphibiaweb.org/. (Accessed:

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