Oscaecilia ochrocephala (Cope, 1866)

Class: Amphibia > Order: Gymnophiona > Family: Caeciliidae > Genus: Oscaecilia > Species: Oscaecilia ochrocephala

Coecilia ochrocephala Cope, 1866, Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia, 18: 132. Holotype: USNM 29764, according to Cochran, 1961, Bull. U.S. Natl. Mus., 220: 3, although Cope notes only a specimen at the ANSP. Type locality: "Panama"; restricted to the "Atlantic side of the Isthmus of Panama" by Taylor, 1968, Caecilians of the World: 611.

Herpele ochrocephalaCope, 1885 "1884", Proc. Am. Philos. Soc., 22: 171.

Caecilia sabogae Barbour, 1906, Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool., 46: 228. Syntypes: MCZ 2425 (2 specimens), by original designation. Type locality: "Saboga Island", Panama. Synonymy by Dunn, 1928, Proc. New England Zool. Club, 10: 73.

Oscaecilia ochrocephalaTaylor, 1968, Caecilians of the World: 598, 611.

English Names

Yellow-headed Caecilian (Frank and Ramus, 1995, Compl. Guide Scient. Common Names Amph. Rept. World: 24).


Extreme northwestern Colombia (northern Chocó and western Antioquia) to central Panama, sea level to 610 m elevation. See comment.

Geographic Occurrence

Natural Resident: Colombia, Panama


See Taylor, 1969, Univ. Kansas Sci. Bull., 48: 283-284, and Savage and Wake, 2001, Copeia, 2001: 57, for brief accounts. Lynch, 2000 "1999", Rev. Acad. Colomb. Cienc. Exact. Fis. Nat., 23: 330, suggested that the Colombian record for this species might be in error. Nieto-Roman and Wake, 2012, Cat. Am. Amph. Rept., 881: 1-5, provided a review, noted ambiguity in the identification of Colombian specimens nominally of this species, and suggested that the species may be restricted to Panama. Köhler, 2011, Amph. Cent. Am.: 34–35, compared this species with the others of Central America and provided maps, and photographs. This species was compared with other Central American ones by Köhler, 2011, Amph. Cent. Am.: 34–35. Fernández-Roldán, Lynch, and Bocanumenth, 2022, Rev. Latinoam. Herpetol., 5: 25–31, provided records from Darien and Urabá Antioqueño, Colombia, and discussed diagnostic features that separate this species from Oscaecilia polyzona as well as providing a dot map for both species in Colombia.  

External links:

Please note: these links will take you to external websites not affiliated with the American Museum of Natural History. We are not responsible for their content.