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Rediscovery of Boulengerula denhardti Nieden 1912 (Amphibia: Gymnophiona: Caecillidae) in Meru County, Kenya

Author(s): John Measey | V. Muchal | S. Spawls

Journal: African Zoology
ISSN 1562-7020

Volume: 47;
Issue: 1;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: Gymnophiona | East Africa | Kenya | soil megafauna | body elongation

The dearth of information on caecilian amphibians is most likely due to a lack of directed field studies. Here we report the rediscovery of a population of Boulengerula denhardti nearly a century after its description by Nieden in 1912. Morphological examination of seven specimens suggests that they are closer to the type of B. denhardti than to any other member of the genus. Nieden’s type locality has been widely interpreted as the Tana River Delta, although searches there have not revealed specimens of this species. The locality of the material described herein comes from Ngaia Forest, Meru County, Kenya, approximately 420 km, northwest of the Tana Delta. We discuss dispersal in caecilians and their likely use of riverine corridors. We speculate that more species in this genus are likely to be found in Kenya.

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