Boulengerula – Boulenger’s caecilians

Native to East Africa

They are known by two names: Boulenger’s Caecilians or Usambara Bluish-Gray Caecilians, which mainly inhabit the regions of East Africa’s rainy tropical areas. While our knowledge of these creatures in the wild is limited, they are generally not considered dangerous or highly predatory.

Boulenger’s caecilians have a cylindrical body and a pointed snout. Their skin is smooth and may be brown, black, or gray. They are nocturnal and fossorial, spending most of their time underground. They feed on small invertebrates, such as insects and worms.

These caecilians are well adapted to their subterranean lifestyle. Their slender bodies and reduced or absent limbs make them resemble earthworms or snakes, allowing them to navigate through the soil and muck in their natural habitat efficiently. Notably, their skulls are uniquely designed, featuring pointed structures and fused bones, enabling them to drill through the substrate without harming themselves. This adaptation is crucial for their burrowing behavior, as they spend a significant portion of their lives underground.

Boulenger’s caecilians prefer warm and slow-moving areas of shallow water that are often adorned with aquatic plants. These aquatic environments provide them with suitable conditions for foraging and breeding. Despite their subterranean lifestyle, they rely on these aquatic habitats for essential aspects of their life cycle.