Augrabies Flat Lizard

Platysaurus broadleyi

The Augrabies Flat Lizard, or Broadley’s Flat Lizard, is a South African endemic occurring in a tiny piece of the Northern Cape Province, centered on the Augrabies Falls where they are extremely common (one of the highest densities of any lizard anywhere on earth) and a familiar sight to visiting tourists. They grow to a length of around 8cm, excluding the tail, and their exceptionally flat bodies allow them to escape predators by hiding in the narrowest of crevices.

Preferring arid, sparsely vegetated, rocky habitats, Augrabies Flat Lizards follow an omnivorous diet that includes mainly insects (often caught by jumping into the air!), ripe Namaqua figs and pieces of food dropped by tourists. Augrabies Flat Lizards are active throughout the year and do not hibernate in winter, though they are active for shorter periods then. In the hot summer of their arid environs they will hide in the shade during the heat of the day. Their breeding season stretches from spring to early summer, during which the colourful males will display to the drab females and each other, and get involved in serious territorial disputes if need be. Females may produce two clutches of eggs in a season, the first young emerging from late December.

Augrabies Flat Lizards featured in a terrific clip on a BBC Wildlife programme presented by Sir David Attenborough. The IUCN considers the Augrabies Flat Lizard to be of least concern.

21 thoughts on “Augrabies Flat Lizard

  1. photobyjohnbo

    I always enjoy your wildlife and bird photos. Great collection of lizard photos. In the Arizona desert along the trails, I seldom see more than about a 100 mm or less in length.


    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      There’s some fascinating lizards in your part of the world, John – the venomous Gila Monster immediately comes to mind! Ever come across those while walking in those beautiful desert landscapes?



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