Cape Girdled Lizard

Cordylus cordylus

The Cape Girdled Lizard is endemic to South Africa’s Eastern and Western Cape Provinces; its distribution stretching from the Lesotho border to the Cederberg and Paternoster on the West Coast. The IUCN considers it as being of least concern though it is listed under CITES Appendix II (species that could be threatened by unregulated trade).

Cape Girdled Lizards are small reptiles – less than 10cm in length without including the tail – that live in dense colonies in suitably rocky habitat, where they will lodge themselves tightly into crevices and cracks to evade predators. Within these colonies the adult males have a strict dominance hierarchy, established and maintained by frequent altercations that involve the combatants circling each other while bobbing their heads and arching their backs and erupting into an all-out brawl if neither male is sufficiently intimated by the ritual. They are diurnal and prey on insects. Females give birth to 1-3 live babies in mid-summer.


11 thoughts on “Cape Girdled Lizard

    1. DeWetsWild Post author

      I’m often astounded at the lengths people will go to – like girdles – to make themselves appear more “attractive”, when (perhaps only to my eye) it often makes them look quite unnatural!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. photobyjohnbo

    OK, so just how do you mesmerize these lizards to hang around and pose for you? Whenever I try to capture one in camera, I usually just get the spot upon which they were standing a moment before. >grin<

    Liked by 1 person


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