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São Tomé caecilian (Schistometopum thomense) Monte Carmo, São Tomé. Jan 4, 2018 Geotagged,Schistometopum thomense,São Tomé and Príncipe,Winter Click/tap to enlarge PromotedSpecies introCountry intro

São Tomé caecilian (Schistometopum thomense)

Monte Carmo, São Tomé. Jan 4, 2018

    comments (5)

  1. Not a fantastic photo, but for my 1000th species introduction, I thought JD's (and mine!) first caecilian was a good pick :-)
    They are actually quite common on the island. In the rainforest where we were, we turned over a few rotten trunks, and every single one had at least one caecilian in it.
    From the photo it really does look like an oversized earthworm, but in the hand, you can feel all its muscles, they are really quite strong, and quick. Put it back down and it disappears into the ground within three seconds.
    A really lovely encounter, and a highlight of my trip to the islands.
    Posted 2 years ago
    1. A huge congratulations on this accomplishment. 1,000 species is insane, and typically takes years of active sharing. That just shows the giant contribution you've made to the community. I'm very grateful, Thibaud.

      You picked a fine scene for your 1,000th. Not only an interesting species in an entirely new category, also the first in this country, what a combo!

      The species by the way kind of reminds me of this:

      Black-and-white worm lizard, Santa María, Colombia A reptile without limbs, yet not a snake. Meet the first worm lizard on JungleDragon, the Black-and-white worm lizard specifically. It is fairly widely distributed throughout South America, yet the odds of ever finding one is close to zero, since it spends most of its life underground. On top of that, it is a nocturnal creature. Therefore, a disclosure: we did not find this ourselves, one of the local guides found it a few days earlier and was temporarily holding on to it. This was the moment of its release. <br />
<br />
Not visible from a static image, the release clearly showed what a phenomenal digger it is. It is incredibly fast and strong in overcoming obstacles or going straight through them. <br />
<br />
Head closeup:<br />
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/49904/black-and-white_worm_lizard_-_head_santa_mara_colombia.html<br />
<br />
Full body shot:<br />
<br />
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/49905/black-and-white_worm_lizard_-_full_body_shot_santa_mara_colombia.html<br />
<br />
Fun fact: sometimes called a two-headed snake, based on the behavior where it raises both its head and tail at once when threatened. Learned that from this video:<br />
<br />
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4tGSLXcrxg Amphisbaena fuliginosa,Boyacá,Colombia,Santa María,South America,World

      They don't seem to belong to the same group, but it's also worm-like, muscular and very strong in digging.
      Posted 2 years ago, modified 2 years ago
      1. Thanks! I'm just fortunate to travel a lot, and to carry cameras wherever I go ! In this case it was also amusing to geotag photos rather close to the standard 0; 0 position.
        I'll have a bunch more things to upload from São Tomé, but I want to finish with last year's Central America trip first.
        Nice worm lizard! A cool example of convergent evolution.
        Posted 2 years ago
    2. You opened an entirely new order on JD (Gymnophiona), I finally managed to give your unique species a family member :)

      Thompson's caecilian, Tatama National Park, Colombia A unusual find at night on the forest floor of Tatama National Park, Colombia. This is endemic to Colombia and the largest known caecilian in the world, at around 1.5m in length. This one definitely was around that size. <br />
They spent most of their lives below the soil yet occasionally come out and crawl around in snake-like movements, despite being fully blind.<br />
<br />
They are very fast and impossibly strong. Our guide could not hold on to it even with two hands. They even have reinforced skulls to help digg into hard soil. Caecilia thompsoni,Cerro Montezuma,Choco,Chocó,Colombia,Colombia Choco & Pacific region,Montezuma,South America,Tatama National Park,Tatamá National Park,World
      Posted 2 years ago, modified 2 years ago
      1. Hah that's awesome, well done! Posted 2 years ago

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''Schistometopum thomense'' is a species of amphibian in the family ''Dermophiidae'', endemic to São Tomé and Ilhéu das Rolas. It is found in most soils on São Tomé, from tropical moist lowland forests to coastal coconut plantations. It is absent only from the driest northern areas of the island. It is typically around 30 cm in length, and is often bright yellow. This species may be referred to as the São Tomé caecilian , as the Aqua Ize caecilian, or as the island caecilian, or by the local.. more

Similar species: Caecilians
Species identified by Thibaud Aronson
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By Thibaud Aronson

All rights reserved
Uploaded Jan 14, 2018. Captured Jan 4, 2018 14:29 in Unnamed Road, São Tomé and Príncipe.
  • DMC-TZ70
  • f/3.3
  • 10/600s
  • ISO800
  • 4.3mm