Other Amphibian of the Week

Mexican Caecilian (Dermophis mexicanus)

photo by Franco Andreone


Common Name: Mexican Caecilian
Scientific Name: Dermophis mexicanus
Family: Dermophiidae
Location: El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and Nicaragua
Size: around 2 feet, 60 cm

The Mexican Caecilian is one of the larger caecilians in the world. Though it’s named the Mexican Caecilian, its found pretty much all over Central America. Like most caecilians, it’s found burrowing beneath the surface but it does come up at night to hunt if there’s rain.

Not much is known about the caecilian’s mating habits. We know that they use internal fertilization (all caecilians do) and that they reach sexual maturity around 2 to 3 years old. They are viviparous, meaning they give birth to live young. The young are pretty large, around 4 inches long.

The Mexican Caecilian is listed as vulnerable by the IUCN. Habitat destruction is the main reason for their decline in numbers.

Other Amphibian of the Week

Axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum)


Common Name: Axolotl, Mexican Salamander
Scientific Name: Ambystoma mexicanum
Family: Ambystomatidae
Location: Mexico
Max Size: around a foot, 12 inches

The Axolotl is a fully aquatic and cute salamander which makes it a common animal in the pet trade. It will also be extinct in the wild soon if nothing happens.

The Axolotl is able to be fully aquatic because it can reach sex maturity with out undergoing metamorphosis. This is called neoteny.

The Axolotl is only found in two series of lakes near Mexico City. These lakes have been mostly destroyed because of draining of the lakes, pollution, and introduction of invasive fishes.

The Axolotl is often studied for its reproduction powers. It is able to regrow limbs if something happens to them. Also its genome was recently published, it has a 32 billion base pair long sequence which is the longest genome found so far.

image by LoKiLeCh