New Ichthyophis species from Indochina
Caecilians of the genus Ichthyophis Fitzinger, 1826 are among the most poorly known amphibian taxa within
Southeast Asia. Populations of Ichthyophis from the Indochina region (comprising Cambodia, Laos, and
Vietnam) have been assigned to five taxa: Ichthyophis acuminatus, Ichthyophis bannanicus, Ichthyophis
kohtaoensis, Ichthyophis laosensis, and Ichthyophis nguyenorum. Barcoding of recently collected specimens indicates that Indochinese congeners form a clade that includesseveral morphologically and genetically distinct but yet undescribed species. Although body coloration is supported by the molecular analyses as a diagnostic character at species level, unstriped forms are paraphyletic with respect to striped
Ichthyophis. Based on our morphological and molecular analyses, three distinct unstriped ichthyophiid species, Ichthyophis cardamomensis sp. nov. from western Cambodia, Ichthyophis catlocensis sp. nov. from southern Vietnam, and Ichthyophis chaloensis sp. nov. from central Vietnam are described as new
herein, almost doubling the number of Ichthyophis species known from the Indochinese region. All three new species differ from their unstriped congeners in a combination of morphological and molecular traits. In addition, redescriptions of three unstriped Ichthyophis species (Ichthyophis acuminatus, I. laosensis, I. youngorum) from Indochina and adjacent Thailand are provided.