Aquatic Caecilian

Typhlonectes natans

About This Animal

SIZE: 20 inches long (50 cm)

RANGE: Their range includes central and southern Venezuela west to central Columbia.

HABITAT: Clear, rocky bottom streams

DIET: Insect larvae and earthworms

ON EXHIBIT:  Tennessee River Gallery at River Journey

The name Caecilian is derived from caecus meaning ‘blind’ in Latin. The name is quite misleading as Caecilians are not actually blind, their eyes are just really small. Their body is laterally flattened and with a small tail fin, it is often mistaken for an eel. The mouth is recessed behind a very long snout. The body has strong muscles and the skin is very slimy making them difficult to hold. They are a pleasure to watch in the water because they are very graceful swimmers. They breathe air so must return to the surface regularly to breathe.