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American Tailed Caecilians: Rhinatrematidae

Physical Characteristics, Marbled Caecilian (epicrionops Marmoratus): Species AccountGEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, BEHAVIOR AND REPRODUCTION, AMERICAN TAILED CAECILIANS AND PEOPLE, CONSERVATION STATUS

MARBLED CAECILIAN (Epicrionops marmoratus): SPECIES ACCOUNT

American tailed caecilians live in northern South America, including parts of Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Surinam, and Venezuela.

American tailed caecilians live in tropical rainforests in moist spots full of leaf litter, rotten logs, and burrows in the soil. The larvae live mainly in streams. Larvae (LAR-vee) are animals in an early stage that change body form in a process called metamorphosis (MEH-tuh-MORE-feh-sis) before becoming adults.


Scientists are not sure what American tailed caecilians eat. They have found large amounts of soil in the intestines of these animals, which is evidence that they eat earthworms. Undigested earthworms and the remains of insects also have been found inside caecilians.


American tailed caecilians burrow in soil and leaf litter. They sometimes twist their bodies rapidly when subduing prey they have grasped in their mouths. Scientists do not know how American tailed caecilians reproduce. They believe that most species lay eggs and that the females coil around the eggs to protect them. Larvae of one species have been found.


American tailed caecilians have no known importance to people.


American tailed caecilians are not considered threatened or endangered. Although not threatened according to the World Conservation Union (IUCN), caecilians are rarely found. Scientists are not sure whether this is because these animals are rare or because they are highly secretive and difficult to find.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceAmphibians