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Asian Tailed Caecilians: Ichthyophiidae

Behavior And Reproduction

Asian tailed caecilians are burrowers. Newly hatched larvae are attracted to light. 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. In captivity adults leave their burrows at night and crawl on the surface. In their natural habitats Asian tailed caecilians have been found on the surface at night during heavy rains.

At mating time, male Asian tailed caecilians place sperm directly inside a female's cloaca. The cloaca (kloh-AY-kuh) is the chamber in some animals that holds waste from the kidneys and intestines, holds eggs or sperm about to be released to the outside, holds sperm entering a female's body, and is the passage through which young are born. Fertilization (FUR-teh-lih-ZAY-shun), or the joining of egg and sperm to start development, takes place inside the female's body. The female then lays large white eggs strung together by jelly strands. The female takes care of the eggs in hidden nests until hatching.

Upon hatching, the larvae of Asian tailed caecilians leave the nest and wriggle to a stream, where they spend an unknown amount of time feeding on small water animals until they transform into young that look like small adults but are not yet able to reproduce. At this point, Asian tailed caecilians leave the stream and take up a land-based, burrowing lifestyle.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceAmphibiansAsian Tailed Caecilians: Ichthyophiidae - Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Ceylon Caecilian (ichthyophis Glutinosus): Species Account - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, ASIAN TAILED CAECILIANS AND PEOPLE, CONSERVATION STATUS