The occurrence of taste buds in adults of the terrestrial ceacilian Boulengerula boulengeri Tornier, 1898 (Lissamphibia: Gymnophiona: Herpelidae)
Two generations of gustatory organs occur during amphibian ontogeny in frogs and salamanders (Anura and Caudata), and are classified as taste buds or taste discs. Taste buds are present in larval forms, whereas taste discs are typical for adults. The little research done on Gymnophiona suggests that only taste buds are present in aquatic forms (larvae and adults), and adults of the only terrestrial species studied had taste buds. Here we investigate the nature of gustatory organs in a terrestrial caecilian, Boulengerula boulengeri (Herpelidae), from Tanzania using standard light and scanning electron microscopy. We found only taste bud type organs to be present in B. boulengeri. These occur mainly in the mucosa of the front part of the oral cavity, usually near the teeth. Our results suggest that B. boulengeri possesses only one type of gustatory organ during its ontogeny.
Key words: gustatory organs, taste buds, ceacilians, Gymnophiona, Boulengerula.