Lizards > Cordylids

Cordylids (Cordylidae; gordelakkedisse)

Cordylids are endemic to Africa and most of the species occur in South Africa. They are perhaps the most typical lizards of South Africa as they are usually very visible where they bask in the sun on exposed perches. The majority of the species are rock-living. All species possess two types of epidermal glands on the ventral aspect of the thigh, femoral and generation glands. Sometimes these glands can be absent in females. The function of these glands are still unknown, but they probably play a role in chemical communication. The family is partitioned into two genera and 55 species that vary considerably in morphology and behaviour. The flat lizards (genus Platysaurus ) have extremely flattened bodies and the males are brightly coloured. They are the only group in the family that lay eggs. The girdled lizards (genus Cordylus ) form the largest group and generally the tail has rings of spiny scales. Some species are extremely spinose, for example the well-known ouvolk of the Free State. Most are rock-dwelling, but at least seven species are terrestrial. The crag lizards have small scales and the tail is only moderately spinose. The grass lizards have elongated snakelike bodies with reduced limbs.


Species occurring in the GCBC:

Cape Grass Lizard

Graceful crag lizard

Armadillo lizard

McLachlan's girdled lizard

Cape Crag Lizard

Oelofsen's Girdled Lizard

Karoo Girdled Lizard

Cape Girdled Lizard

Large-scaled Girdled Lizard


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