Land Caecilian Care Sheet

Info

  • Scientific Name: Gymnophiona
  • Lifespan: Approximately 5-20 years based on care
  • Handling: Caecilians are not meant to be handled. All caecilians have delicate skin and the oils and salts on our skin can cause them harm. Avoid handling unless necessary and if doing so, make sure to where gloves.
  • Size: Approximately 5 – 15 inches, but some have been known to reach 4.5 ft long.
  • Care: Medium
  • Community: Caecilians may be housed together. They tend to group together and can often be seen sharing the same hide outs.
  • Lifestyle: Nocturnal, active at night.

Enclosure

Tank size varies:

  • 3 – 4 caecilians requires a 10 gallon tall tank.
  • 5 – 7 caecilians require a 20 gallon tall tank
  • 8 – 10 caecilians require a 30 gallon tall tank

….and so forth. The rule is 10 gallons per 3 – 4 caecilians. But remember, the more room, the better.

 

Note: A lid is necessary on the tank enclosure to avoid escapes. You may add locks to the lid to ensure no escapes.

Furnishing

Not much furnishing is needed. Live plants or fake plants will do well in the tank to add foliage in the tank to make your caecilians feel more at home and comfortable. Live plants will be a better option for the caecilians skin. Fake plants are rough and may scrape the skin of your caecilian(s) as it passes them. Live plants are softer and better off for the caecilians skin. However, if using real plants, special lighting is needed for them to thrive in the enclosure. Maintenance is also required to trim the plants monthly to assure they don’t take over the enclosure.  Hiding areas are also needed for your caecilian(s) to hide in to feel comfortable and safe. You may buy ornaments at a pet shop or even use a piece of PVC pipe to create the hiding area. A corner PVC attatcher works best. If housing more than one land caecilian, make sure to include a large enough hide to allow enough room for all of them to hide together.

Lighting and Heating

Caecilians do not need a UVB bulb. All they need is a source of heat through a regular house bulb. If using live plants, special lighting is needed. A fluorescent low UVB tube is ideal as it won’t give out any heat and will help the plants thrive.

 

Temperatures should be…

76 – 79 °F throughout the night and day. If it is too cold to achieve this temperature without lights, I recommend using a heat emitter or a reptile infrared heat light. Make sure to check temps to reassure the temps are good to avoid stress.

Feeding/Diet

Caecilians should be fed daily with a varied diet of appropriately sized gut loaded prey items, including most insects and invertebrates, silkworms, earthworms, bloodworms, and other insect larvae.

Humidity and Hydration

Humidity levels should be around 70%. You may achieve this by spraying down the enclosure several times a day. Make sure to keep the enclosure clean by doing spot checks every other day. With an ecnlosure with such a high percentage of humidity, it is very easy for bacteria to build up. Caecilians will hydrate themselves by submerging under the substrate where it is wet. You may also put a bowl of water in the enclosure for it to go in if it wants to. Some caecilians are known to be aquatic as well and will love to swim. It all depends on which caecilian species you have.

Substrate

Choose a good substrate that holds humidity well and can be used to burrow in. A fertilizer free soil, peat, Eco-earth or a coco husk substrate would be fine for this. Your caecilian will spend a lot of time under the soil so it is important that your substrate is hydrated with water, clean, and fertilizer free.

 

Note: The information on this land caecilian care sheet is not a substitute for veterinary care.

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