Rio cauca caecilian

Common Name: Rio Cauca Caecilian

Scientific Name: Typhlonectes natans

 You can find our caecilians in the Flooded Forest in Tropical House.

Female Rio Cauca caecilians in captivity have been found to double their weight before they give birth.

Fast Facts

  • Status

    Least Concern

  • Size

    250–725 mm

  • Weight

    60–114 g

  • Gestation

    7 months

  • Young


  • Life Span

    13 years

In the wild

Not much is known about the diet of wild Rio Cauca caecilians, but they are thought to be scavengers and predators. In Colombia and Venezuela they have been seen feeding on fish entrails which had been left in the water by fishermen.

Rio Cauca caecilians are aquatic amphibians. They are found in flood plains and rivers, marshes and lakes in western and northern Colombia and western Venezuela. They are able to endure major declines in their water quality and can survive in polluted water.

This species is oviviparous, which means that the young develop in eggs within the mother’s body. They hatch inside her body and are born live. The foetuses of Rio Cauca caecilians develop large gills which drop off a few hours after birth. This species of caecilian is thought to breed during the wet season.

Rio Cauca caecilians don’t currently face any major threats. They are caught for the international pet trade, but not at a level which presents a threat to the species. These caecilians are widespread and can tolerate a significant deterioration in the quality of their habitat. They are also found in some protected areas.

Meet Marwell's Rio cauca caecilian

Meet Marwell's Rio cauca caecilian

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