All that is known about this species distribution is its non-specific type locality of "Upper Laos [Lao People's Democratic Republic]" (Taylor 1969).
Habitat and Ecology
There are no records on the ecology and habitat use of this species, however it presumably occurs in forest, is fossorial, and its reproductive strategy is expected to be oviparity with terrestrial eggs and stream-dwelling larvae, as with other, better known Ichthyophis species. A considerable portion of the forest in Laos has been converted to agricultural land (Sodhi et al. 2009), however the effect of this on its population and other Southeast Asian caecilians is not clear.
The only individual of this species to have ever been recorded is the holotype (Taylor 1969); the size and trends of its population remain completely unknown.
A high rate of forest loss has been identified as a significant threat to biodiversity throughout Lao PDR, with natural forest being cleared for expanding agriculture (Sodhi et al. 2009). Satellite imagery shows a considerable amount of cleared land within northern Lao PDR, however the effects of forest loss on caecilian populations are largely unknown. Gower and Wilkinson (2005) found that forest removal does not always detrimentally affect caecilian populations, particularly in cases where it is replaced with crops that maintain shade and moisture. Therefore the threats to this species are not known.
This species is not currently known from any protected areas and there are no conservation measures in place for it.
Addressing the lack of data is the first step towards ensuring the species' long-term persistence; further research on its range, threats, life history and abundance would inform conservation decisions.
Red List Status
Data Deficient (DD)
Listed as Data Deficient as this species' distribution, abundance, ecology and threats are unknown.
The taxonomic status of this species is unclear.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2017. Ichthyophis laosensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T59624A86754842. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-2.RLTS.T59624A86754842.en .Downloaded on 23 January 2019