Taxonomy

Animalia Chordata Vertebrata Amphibia Gymnophiona Dermophiidae Gymnopis Gymnopis syntrema

Taxonomic notes: The taxonomic relationship between the populations in Belize and Guatemala needs to be examined, as does the affinity of the species (M. Wake pers. comm. 2007).

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Geographic Range

This species is found at low and moderate altitudes (from 440-1,000m asl) in central Guatemala, and in the Mayan Mountains of southern Belize, and the southernmost part of Reserva de la Biosfera Montes Azules in Chiapas state, Mexico (González-Hernández et al. 2014). It might occur more widely.

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Population

It is rarely seen due to its subterranean habits, although many were seen at a site in Chichipate in the Sierra de Santa Cruz, Guatemala, where a bulldozer was working; these specimens are deposited at the University of Texas (Manuel Acevedo pers. comm., 2007). This species' overall population status is not known.

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Habitat

It lives below ground in tropical wet forest, and may also occur in secondary forest, although very little is known about the persistance of this species in disturbed habitats. It is a viviparous species that does not require water for breeding.

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Use Trade

There are no records that this species is utilized.

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Threats

There is little information on specific threats to it. A hydroelectric project might inundate substantial habitat in the upper reaches of the Raspacula Macal River complex in Belize. There are no threats in Mexico since it is distributed in the Montes Azules Reserve.

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Specific Threats

  • 7.2.11 Dams (size unknown)

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Conservation Actions

This species' range might includes the Sierra Santa Cruz and may include the Reserva de la Biósfera Sierra de las Minas. Its range also includes reserves of the Mayan Mountains in Belize and the Reserva de la Biosfera Montes Azules in Chiapas, Mexico.

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Specific Actions

  • 1.1 Site/area protection
  • 2.1 Site/area management

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Red List Rationale

Listed as Data Deficient in view of continuing uncertainties on its extent of occurrence, status and ecological requirements.

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Bibliography

  • Campbell, J.A. 1998. Amphibians and Reptiles of Northern Guatemala, the Yucatán and Belize. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, Oklahoma.
  • Campbell, J.A. 2001. Guide to the Reptiles and Amphibians of Guatemala. University of Texas, Arlington, Web published: http://www.uta.edu/biology/campbell.
  • Ducey, P.K., Formanowicz, Jr, D.R., Boyet, L., Mailloux, J. and Nussbaum, R.A. 1993. Experimental examination of burrowing behavior in caecilians (Amphibia: Gymnophiona): effects of soil compaction on burrowing ability of four species. Herpetologica: 450-457.
  • González-Hernández, A., Hernández-Ordóñez, O., Cervantes-López, M., Reynoso, V. H. 2014. First record of the Mountain Caecilian Gymnopis syntrema (Amphibia: Gymnophiona: Dermophiidae) in Mexico. Revista Mexicana de Biodiversidad 85: 645-649.
  • Gower, D.J. and Wilkinson, M. 2005. Conservation biology of caecilian amphibians. Conservation Biology 19(1): 45-55.
  • Lee, J.C. 2000. A Field Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of the Maya World. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, New York, USA.
  • Nussbaum, R.A. 1979. The status of Copeotyphlinus syntremus (Amphibia: Gymnophiona). Journal of Herpetology: 121-123.
  • Nussbaum, R.A. 1988. On the status of Copeotyphlinus syntremus, Gymnopis oligozona, and Minascaecilia sartoria (Gymnophiona, Caeciliidae): a comedy of errors. Copeia: 921-928.
  • Savage, J.M. and Wake, M.H. 1972. Geographic variation and systematics of the Middle American caecilians, genera Dermophis and Gymnopis. Copeia: 680-695.
  • Savage, J.M. and Wake, M.H. 2001. Reevaluation of the status of taxa of Central American caecilians (Amphibia: Gymnophiona), with comments on their origin and evolution. Copeia: 52-64.
  • Taylor, E.H. 1968. The Caecilians of the World. A Taxonomic Review. University of Kansas Press, Lawrence, Kansas.
  • Wake, M.H. and Campbell, J.A. 1983. A new genus and species of caecilian from the Sierra de las Minas of Guatemala. Copeia: 857-863.

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