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From Mizoram, limbless amphibians added to India’s fauna

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    21st Jul, 2021


A ‘multicolor’ limbless amphibian recorded in Mizoram has been added to India’s fauna.

About the newly found limbless amphibian

  • A new specimen of ‘Ichthyophis multicolor’ is found in northern Mizoram’s Kolasib district.
  • Ichthyophis is recognized as the most widely distributed genus of the caecilian amphibians.
  • The genus is said to have 50 species, 13 of which occur in India.
  • Ichthyophis multicolor is the ninth species of the region.
  • The species derives its scientific name from a yellowish lateral stripe which separates its brownish upper part from a paler lower part.
  • The length of the specimens varies from 310-501 mm.
  • Significance:The presence of Ichthyophis multicolor points to northeast India being the dispersal route of various species from South Asia to Southeast Asia.
    • Dispersal allows animals to avoid competition and inbreeding.
    • It helps in colonizing new habitats.
  • They are fossorial (burrowing) and secretive.


  • Ichthyophis is a genus of caeciliansthat is found in Southeast Asia, the southern Philippines, and the western Indo-Australian Archipelago.
  • They are limbless amphibians and are sometimes called Asian caecilians.
  • They mostly live hidden in the ground and in-stream substrates that makes them the least familiar order of amphibians.
  • Their diet consists of small subterranean creatures such as earthworms.