AMPHIBIAWEB

Siphonopidae

26 species in 6 genera

Commonly Called South American Caecilians


Siphonops annulatus
Photo by Andrés Acosta
(Click for family gallery)

Siphonopids, small to medium sized (112 mm to 120 mm total length) caecilians, burrow in moist humid tropical forest floors of South America. They are distinguished by the following combination of characters: oviparity, imperforate stapes and lack of inner mandibular teeth. Species in this family may have forms of parental care but much remains unknown. Many species exhibit maternal dermatophagy, a reproductive behavior in which the young feed on a highly specialized lipid-rich outer layer of their mothers skin using a unique set of "fetal" multicuspid teeth (e.g., Microcaecilia dermatophaga, Siphonops annulatus).

Siphonopids were previously placed in Caecilidae until Wilkinson et al (2011); subsequent studies placed Siphonopidae as sister taxon to Dermophiidae.

Written by AmphibiaWeb

Notable Family Characteristics

  • Fossorial
  • Inhabits mostly tropical forests
  • Oviparity
  • Maternal dermatophagy, documented in some species but speculated to be in all
  • Morphological characters include: 1) all with primary annuli, some with secondary, none with tertiary; 2) dermal scales sometimes present; 3) imperforate stapes; 4) inner mandibular teeth absent; 5) terminal shield present at caudal end of body but no true tail
  • Distribution limited to South America

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.

Wilkinson, M., Kupfer, A., Marques-Porto, R., Jeffkins, H., Antoniazzi, M. M., and Jared, C. (2008). One hundred million years of skin feeding? Extended parental care in a Neotropical caecilian (Amphibia: Gymnophiona). Biology Letters, (4) 358-361.

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.

Genus Brasilotyphlus (2 species)
Brasilotyphlus braziliensis no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Brasilotyphlus guarantanus AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video

Genus Luetkenotyphlus (1 species)
Luetkenotyphlus brasiliensis no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video

Genus Microcaecilia (14 species)
Microcaecilia albiceps no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Microcaecilia butantan AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Microcaecilia dermatophaga AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Microcaecilia grandis no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Microcaecilia iwokramae AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Microcaecilia iyob no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Microcaecilia marvaleewakeae AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Microcaecilia rabei no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Microcaecilia rochai no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Microcaecilia savagei no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Microcaecilia supernumeraria no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Microcaecilia taylori no AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Microcaecilia trombetas no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Microcaecilia unicolor no AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video

Genus Mimosiphonops (2 species)
Mimosiphonops reinhardti no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Mimosiphonops vermiculatus no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video

Genus Parvicaecilia (2 species)
Parvicaecilia nicefori no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Parvicaecilia pricei no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video

Genus Siphonops (5 species)
Siphonops annulatus AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Siphonops hardyi no AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Siphonops insulanus no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Siphonops leucoderus no AmphibiaWeb account no photos no sound/video
Siphonops paulensis no AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video


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