|Image by John Measey|
The Sagala Caecilian (Boulengerula niedeni) is a species that was first described in 2005. Its name comes from the hill it inhabits (Sagala Hill in southern Kenya). Since they’re such a newly discovered species, there’s a lot that still isn’t known about them, but scientists are pretty sure that their range is about 30 sq. km, which is smaller than Manhattan Island. Right there, with that small of a range, they become listed as Critically Endangered. Along with its already minimal range, large-scale farming disrupts streamside habitats, where they make their home, and introduces pollutants.
I’m having problems finding specifics about the Sagala caecilian, such as what it eats (probably small invertebrates) and specific reproductive history, though caecilians are the only order of amphibians that perform internal fertilization. In fact, the discerning feature of this amphibian, used to describe it as a new species, is its oddly shaped phallus.
On a different note, I have received my Official EUTshirt, and I am pleased with the quality. The concept of a cute lamprey stuck with me since I wrote about it. I asked friends and family if the idea of a line of cute Endangered Ugly Things t-shirts went against everything EUT stood for, and they said, “Maybe.” Well, they’re up and buyable anyway. Enjoy, and I’m up for any suggestions of other EUTs, since I’m having slight problems finding good ones.
1Possibly more to come, ‘cause if you thought the hellbender was big and ugly, there are some bigger, uglier ones out there.