This species has been recorded from southeastern Nigeria, Cameroon, southwestern Central African Republic, mainland Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Congo, western Democratic Republic of Congo, and Bioko Island (in Equatorial Guinea). It has not been recorded from the Cabinda Enclave of Angola, but presumably occurs there. The eastern limit of its distribution is unknown, and it could occur further east. There is little published information on the altitudinal range of this species, although it appears to be a low elevation species (D. Gower pers. comm. April 2017) and subpopulations from Cameroon have been recorded between sea level up to around 800 m asl (Gower et al. 2013).
Habitat and Ecology
It is a species of lowland forest, presumably generally living underground. There is no information on its adaptability to secondary habitats; however it may occur in fruit tree plantations, rural gardens and secondary forest. It is an oviparous species with direct development and thus does not depend on water bodies for development (Kouete et al. 2012).
The abundance and population status are currently unknown.
This species occurs in small numbers in the international pet trade, although it is not clear what the extent of the trade is and subsequently how much of a threat it poses.
Individuals from Cameroon tested positive for Bd (Gower et al. 2013, Doherty-Bone et al. 2013), suggesting that chytridiomycosis could be a threat to this species. Gower et al. (2013) recorded mortality in captive (wild-caught and commercial pet trade) individuals of Geotrypetes seraphini due to chytridiomycosis, so the disease is known to be lethal to caecilians; although the susceptibility of this species to the disease is currently unknown.
This species occurs in many protected areas including Korup National Park in Cameroon and Moukalaba-Doudou National Park in Gabon (Burger et al. 2006, Pauwels and Rödel 2007).
Further habitat protection is required.
Further research is needed on the species' taxonomy, population status, natural history, and threats. Monitoring is also needed to establish its population trends.
Red List Status
Least Concern (LC)
Listed as Least Concern in view of its relatively wide distribution and presumed large population.
There are questions as to whether or not this is a single species (Taylor 1968).
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2018. Herpele squalostoma. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018: e.T59565A16958011. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2018-1.RLTS.T59565A16958011.en .Downloaded on 23 January 2019