Tag Archives: Cordylus niger

Black Girdled Lizard

Cordylus niger

Black Girdled Lizards occur only on Table Mountain, the Cape Peninsula and around Saldanha Bay, where they inhabit rocky outcrops in the fynbos and shelter in small cracks and crevices. When threatened they will use their prickly tail to cover the rest of their body and inflate themselves so that it should be very difficult to extract them from their hiding place. Black Girdled Lizards grow to between 7 and 9cm in length and are usually seen alone, except when mating. They are diurnal and do not hibernate, although they are much less active in cold weather. Black Girdled Lizards feed primarily on insects. This is an ovoviviparous species, meaning that the female keeps the fertilized eggs inside her body and then gives birth to live young when the eggs hatch inside her. One to three young are born during autumn and must be immediately self-sufficient, as there is no parental care.

The IUCN classifies the Black Girdled Lizard as “Near Threatened” due to their extremely limited distribution and threats from development and the pet trade, despite an apparently numerous population.