Dermophiidae – Common caecilians

The only viviparous (give birth to live young) family of caecilians, used to classified in family Caeciliidae

A family of terrestrial caecilians found in different parts of the world. These legless creatures resemble earthworms or snakes due to their elongated bodies, lack of legs or tails, and the presence of visible annuli, which are ring-like structures encircling their bodies.

One of the remarkable features of Dermophiidae members is their eyes, or in some cases, the absence thereof. Some individuals within this family have no eyes at all, highlighting their adaptation to a subterranean lifestyle where vision serves little purpose. Others have eyes covered by bone structures, which are concealed beneath their skin and not visible externally. These adaptations allow them to thrive in the darkness of their underground habitats.

Dermophiidae species exhibit a range of colors, adding to their intrigue. Their coloration can vary from subdued shades of grey to bluish or purplish-grey, while some members display vibrant hues of bright yellow. These diverse colorations may serve various purposes, from camouflage to signaling their toxicity.

These unique caecilians are not confined to a single continent; they can be found in Central and South America, as well as parts of Africa. Despite their striking resemblance to worms or snakes on the surface, Dermophiidae stands out in the world of amphibians due to their viviparous nature. Viviparous species give birth to live offspring instead of laying eggs. Dermophiidae is unique among caecilians because they possess secondary annuli, which are ring-like structures encircling their bodies.