Potamotyphlus kaupii

23. August 2010

Most people interested in natural history know two orders within the class Amphibia, namely the Anura (frogs, toads etc.) and the Caudata (news, salamanders etc.). Much less people know that there is a third order, the Gymnophiona (caecilians), although this order has more than 180 species. However, most of them are nocturnal and live burrowed in the ground, so one hardly ever comes in touch with them. If it happens, the caecilians are often taken wrongly as gigantic earthworms.

Some genera of the Gymnophiona live exlusively in freshwater. One of them, Typhlonectes natans from Colombia, has even managed to become a quite popular aquarium inhabitant, usually sold as “blind eel”.

From a biologist´s point of view the caecilians are very interesting creatures. The land living, egglaying species take brood care, and the water living, livebearing species develope a kind of umbilical cord, by which the unborn are fed by the mother. There are males and females in caecilians, the males have a kind of penis which is used for the internal fertalization.

In contrast to Typhlonectes natans, which is uniform black, Potamotyphlos kaupii has a quite attractive colour pattern. Our specimens originate from Peru. So far we were able to import only a few specimens. They proofed to be much more sensitive than their black cousin from Colombia. Especially they were quite sensitive for fungus infection of the skin. However, once they are settled they are as easy to keep as T. natans. The eyeless animals orientate by the scent and so they find their prey (in the aquarium mainly frozen food like bloodworm). It is very important to cover the tank absolutely tight.

For our customers: the animals have code 281724 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.

Lexicon: Potamotyphlus: from ancient Greek, “potamon” meaning “river” and “typhlos” meaning “blind”, eg “blind river dweller”. kaupii: dedication name. Typhlnectes: ancient Greek, “typhlos” meaning “blind”, “nectes” meaning “swimmer”, eg “blind swimmer”. natans: Latin, meaning “swimming, drifting”.

Suggestion of a common name: Kaup´s caecilian, zebra caecilian

Text & photo: Frank Schäfer

Angaben zum Tier
Herkunft Peru
Verfügbare Größe in cm 25 - 35