Friday, 16 January 2015

New species of legless amphibian for Cambodia

A new species of legless amphibian has been discovered by scientists in Cambodia's Cardamom Mountains.

Often mistaken for snakes the newly called Ichthyophis cardamomensis is a caecilian, an order of limbless amphibians, with larger species known to grow to 1.5 metres in length. Caecilians have a valuable role in the ecosystems of tropical and subtropical regions, including providing a food source for the red tailed pipe snake (Cylindrophis ruffus). Caecilians eat invertebrates, such as earthworms, ants and termites. 

It is only the second caecilian species ever discovered in Cambodia. The other is the striped Koa Tao Island caecilian, I. kohtaoensis, which is also found in, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam.

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