Herpelidae – African caecilians

Native to Central and East Africa; classified as a family in 1984 and closely related to newly found family Chikilidae

The family Herpelidae is a family of Striped caecilians found in sub-Saharan Africa. They are typically small and slender, measuring 35 cm or less. Although generally secretive, Herpelidae can be found in various habitats, from tropical forests to subtropical and temperate regions worldwide.

With an external appearance similar to that of snakes, they have a pointed snout, small eyes, and no legs. Herpelidae can be distinguished from other caecilians by their characteristic pattern of dark bars on a light background and their tail ending in an eye-like spot.

They can be found hiding in soft soil or leaf litter, and they feed mainly on earthworms, slugs, and other small invertebrates.