CSL
Caiman crocodilus apaporiensis (MEDEM, 1955)


NAMES | DISTRIBUTION | HABITAT | STATUS | APPEARANCE | IMAGES | DIET | BREEDING | CONSERVATION

FAMILY:
ALLIGATORIDAE

A. mississippiensis
A. sinensis
C. crocodilus
C. c. apaporiensis
C. c. fuscus
C. latirostris
C. yacare
M. niger
P. palpebrosus
P. trigonatus

FAMILY:
CROCODYLIDAE

C. acutus
C. intermedius
C. johnstoni
C. mindorensis
C. moreletii
C. niloticus
C. novaeguineae
C. palustris
C. porosus
C. rhombifer
C. siamensis
M. cataphractus
O. tetraspis
T. schlegelii

FAMILY:
GAVIALIDAE

G. gangeticus

DICHOTOMOUS KEY
[German]

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STATUS OF INFORMATION:
This information was most-recently updated January 2009 and is considered up-to-date. Please contact me directly regarding updates or corrections.

COMMON NAMES:
Rio Apaporis Caiman, Babilla, Cachirré, Ocoroché

NAME ETYMOLOGY:
> Caiman is a Spanish term for "alligator" or any crocodilian
> crocodilus means "a crocodile" (Latin)
> apaporiensis means "of the Apaporis" (Rio Apaporis River), derived from "apapori" + "ensis" (Latin for "belonging to")

SUBSPECIES STATUS:
This caiman is viewed as a subspecies of Caiman crocodilus [see that species' description for a general overview].

DISTRIBUTION:
[CLICK ON MAP FOR DETAILED RANGE]
Distribution map Southeast Colombia - present only in a 200 km stretch of the upper Rio Apaporis river. Other populations have been reported outside of Columbia, but their validity is unconfirmed - these are more likely to be a slender-snouted form of C. c. crocodilus.

HABITAT:
Riverine and associated habitat around the upstream areas of the Rio Apaporis river in Colombia.

STATUS:
     CITES: Appendix I
     IUCN Red List: NA (NOT ASSESSED)
     Estimated wild population: unknown, possibly under 1,000
Summary: This subspecies is vulnerable because of its restricted distribution, and virtually nothing is known about it

APPEARANCE:
The snout is distinctively much narrower than other C. crocodilus subspecies, and skin colour is brighter. Similar to the common caiman in other respects.

Dentition codeDENTITION:
5 pre-maxillary; 17-18 maxillary; 20 mandibular
Total no. of teeth = 84-86

DIET:
Unknown, but probably similar to other C. crocodilus subspecies (i.e. aquatic invertebrates, fish). The shape of the snout suggests that fish feature more prominently in its diet, although it is likely to be opportunistic.

BREEDING:
No information is available. Probably a mound nest builder, with similar breeding biology to other C. crocodilus subspecies.

CONSERVATION:
Very little information is available about this subspecies, and much research needs to be undertaken, particularly in regard to status and population ecology so that appropriate conservation measures can be formulated. Hunting is a grave threat, given the limited distribution. Interbreeding with sympatric C. crocodilus species may also jeopardise the genetic purity and hence the future existence of this caiman. Although protected, laws are hard to implement. It may be extremely difficult to distinguish skins of this species from those of C. crocodilus. Captive specimens exist, but no breeding success has been reported.

MORE INFORMATION:
For more information on distribution and conservation issues for this species,see the CSG
Action Plan resource for Caiman crocodilus.

SIGNIFICANT REFERENCES:

  • Ayarzagüena, J (1984). Variaciones el la diectica de Caiman sclerops. la relacion entre morfologia bucal y dietica. Mem. Soc. Cienc. Nat. La Salle 44(122): 123-140
  • Gorzula, S (1994). A longirostrine Caiman crocodilus from central Venezuela. Crocodile Specialist Group 13(3): 16
  • King, FW & Burke, RL (1989). Crocodilian, Tuatara and Turtle Species of the World. A Taxonomic abd Geographic Reference. Assoc. Systematics Collections, Washington, D.C. pp.216
  • Medem, F (1981). Los Crocodylia de Sur America. Vol. 1. Los Crocodylia de Colombia. Colciencias, Bogota. pp. 354
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