Aquatic caecilian

Typhlonectes natans

Fascinating Facts

Physical Characteristics

Aquatic caecilians are limbless. Young are born with external gills which help them survive the birthing process. They are dark grey or black in color, with ringed body segments and skin covering their eyes. They can sense light and dark shapes with their covered eyes. Adults reach between 17 – 21 inches in length. They have a strong skull which they can use for digging or burrowing.

Habitat/Diet

Aquatic caecilians are found in seasonally flooded grasslands, rivers, marshes and lakes in the Amazon region of Colombia and Venezuela. They hunt by using their sense of smell and feed on invertebrates, including insects and worms.

Social Behavior

Females give birth to 3 – 7 live young after a gestation period of 220 days. After their first year, juveniles are half the size of an adult.

Status In The Wild

Least Concern – IUCN 2004

Location in the Zoo

South American Tropical Rainforest and Aviary



Animals & Exhibits