Sunday, February 26, 2012

[Herpetology • 2007] Ichthyophis kodaguensis | Kodagu Striped Ichthyophis• A new species of Ichthyophis (Amphibia: Gymnophiona: Ichthyophiidae) from Karnataka, India

Kodagu Striped Ichthyophis Ichthyophis kodaguensis

A new species of Indian striped Ichthyophis is described on the basis of six specimens from near the Western Ghats town of Madikeri, southern Karnataka (where it is sympatric with its congener Ibeddomei), plus a seventh specimen of less certain provenance. The new species is distinguished from all other striped Ichthyophis by its combination of color, numbers of annuli and teeth, position of tentacular aperture, and the distribution and numbers of scale rows. A dichotomous key is provided to separate the four striped species of Ichthyophis of the Western Ghats.
Key words: Caecilians; Herpetology; South Asia; Systematics; Western Ghats

FIG. 1.— Holotype of Ichthyophis kodaguensis sp. nov. (BNHS 4179) Scale 5 20 mm.

Etymology.— The specific epithet reflects the provenance of the type specimens from the District of Kodagu (also known as Coorg) in Southern Karnataka, India.
Suggested common name.— Kodagu Striped Ichthyophis.
Conservation status.— We suggest that Ichthyophis kodaguensis is currently of ‘Data Deficient’ status by IUCN criteria. Although several specimens were collected in a single day from an agricultural habitat, more information is needed on the range and ecological requirements of this species before it could be considered unthreatened.

FIG. 2.— Holotype of Ichthyophis kodaguensis sp. nov. (BNHS 4179). From top to bottom: head and anterior of body in left lateral, dorsal and ventral views; terminus in ventral and lateral views. Finely dotted lines in drawings (from camera lucida sketches) indicate extent of lateral yellow stripes. Images not to scale.

Wilkinson,M., Gower, D.J., Govindappa, V. and Venkatachalaiah, G. 2007. A new species of Ichthyophis (Amphibia: Gymnophiona: Ichthyophiidae) from Karnataka, India. Herpetologica. 63: 511–518.

Bhatta, G., K.P. Dinesh, P. Prashanth & R. Srinivasa (2011). New site record of Ichthyophis kodaguensis Wilkinson et al., 2007 (Amphibia:Ichthyophiidae) in the Western Ghats, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa. 3(9): 2104–2107.