A new lungless caecilian (Amphibia: Gymnophiona) from Guyana

Marvalee H. Wake, Maureen A. Donnelly

Abstract

We report the discovery of a single specimen of a small, terrestrial, lungless caecilian, the second known taxon of lungless caecilians. It differs from all other caecilians in lacking open external nares, and from the large aquatic lungless species described by Nussbaum & Wilkinson (Nussbaum, R. A. & Wilkinson, M. 1995 Proc. R. Soc. Lond. B 261, 331–335) in having no significant skull modifications. All modifications are of ‘soft morphology’ (covered external nares and choanae, lung and pulmonary vessel loss, etc.). A new genus and species are described to accommodate this form. Aspects of its skull and visceral morphology are described and considered in terms of the possible life history and evolution of the species, and compared with those of other lungless amphibians.

Footnotes

    • Received September 11, 2009.
    • Accepted October 30, 2009.
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