Digital Morphology account of the Mexican Burrowing Caecilian, Dermophis mexicanus, featuring CT-generated animations of the skull. History of Classification. Dermophis mexicanus was originally classified as Siphonops mexicanus in (Dumeril, ). It was reclassified as Amphisbaena. Family, Caeciliidae Rafinesque, – Caecilians. Genus, Dermophis Peters, – Mexican caecilians. Species, Dermophis mexicanus (Duméril and Bibron, .

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Jennifer Olori Publication Date: The Mexican dermkphis caecilian Dermophis mexicanus is a fossorial species that ranges from southern Mexico to northwest Colombia Duellman and Trueb, Adults range from mm to mm in length Grzimek, and their diet consists of termites, crickets, snails, slugs, and earthworms Jared et al.

Caecilians are a group of limbless amphibians. Limbs and limb girdles are absent in all extant caecilians and the majority of species also lack a tail. Extant caecilians comprise 33 genera and species that may be aquatic, terrestrial, or fossorial.

They are distributed throughout the tropics, although they are not found in Madagascar, central Africa, or the Oceanic region. Caecilians are the least studied group of amphibians because most species spend the majority of their lives underground or underwater Pough et al. Caecilians differ from other amphibians in having a compact skull, a trait known as stegokrotaphy.

The skull is completely roofed except for openings for the eyes, nares, and tentacle. However, some species have an open temporal region to facilitate kinetic movement of the skull, a trait known as zygokrotaphy.

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All caecilians have a fused maxilla and palatine, known as the maxillopalatine. Additionally, all the occipital elements and the paraspheniod are cermophis into a single element called the Os basale.

In derived species of caecilians such as Dermophis mexicanus and Typhlonectes natansthe nasals and premaxillae also fuse to form the nasopremaxilla Duellman and Trueb, ; Pough et al.

Mexican burrowing caecilian

All caecilians have a unique chemosensory organ located on the head called the tentacle. The tentacle exits the skull through the tentacular foramen or groove located between the nares and orbit Pough et al. Reproduction in caecilians is oviparous or viviparous and fertilization is internal. Although some oviparous species lay eggs in water, other species deposit eggs terrestrially and maternal care for the eggs is common. Most oviparous species have aquatic larvae but direct development occurs in some terrestrial species.

In viviparous species, embryos are nourished by secretions from oviduct walls of the female. Specialized fetal teeth in the young are used to stimulate cells in the oviduct walls to produce secretions Pough et al. Dermophis mexicanus is a viviparous mexixanus with an 11 month gestation period. Litters average between four and eleven young. The reproductive season is in the early rainy season in May and June.

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Mexican burrowing caecilian – Wikipedia

Females reach sexually maturity at two years of age and males at three years. Additional Information on the Skull Click on the thumbnails below for labeled images of the skull in standard anatomical views.

This specimen was collected from Depto. Funding for scanning and image processing was provided by Dr. Cannatella’s grant, and funding for additional image processing was provided by a National Science Foundation Digital Libraries Initiative grant to Dr. This specimen was scanned by Philip Watson on 24 September along the coronal axis for a total of x pixel slices.

dermophid

Each slice is 0. An appreciation of the physiology and morphology of the caecilians Amphibia: Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A On the classification and phylogeny of caecilians Amphibia: Gymnophionaa critical review. Development of the skull of Dermophis mexicanus Amphibia: Gymnophiona with comments on skull kinesis and amphibian relationships.

Journal of Morphology Dorsal view Lateral view Ventral view. Specimen Photos Dorsal view Lateral view Ventral view. Johns Mexicamus, Baltimore, pp. Dermophis mexicanusMexican Burrowing Caecilian Dr. To cite this page: Accessed December 31, at http: Funding by NSF Comments.