Monday, August 1, 2011

Rediscovery of a Remarkable Caecilian

Boulengerula fischeri. Photo credit G. John Measey
The fossorial herpetofauna remains one of nature's best gaurded secrets. Many fosrorial snakes, lizards, and caecilians remain to be discovered and their natural history investigated. The African caecilian Boulengerula fischeri was described from a single specimen deposited onto a car by an unknown collector in 1987, and no further specimens were collected - until recently. Measey et al. (2011) describe a collection of 20 specimens taken from soil under banana trees, in an area immediately outside Cyamudongo Forest in southwestern Rwanda, about 3 km from the type locality. Adults reach a maximum length of nearly 400 mm but are only 4.5 mm wide.

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