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5- The Cape girdled lizard  - Cordylus cordylus  :

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Cordylus cordylus (the Cape girdled lizard), is a medium-sized lizard indigenous to the southern Cape of South Africa.


The Cape girdled lizard has a golden-brown body with spiny, keeled, body scales - especially on its tail.


It is indigenous to the Western Cape and Eastern Cape provinces of South Africa, from Saldanha and Cape Town eastwards as far as Lesotho. It lives in large colonies (with social hierarchies), on rocky crags and outcrops, as well as on mountain summits. The lizards hide in rocky cracks, but come out in the morning and evening to forage. If threatened, they retreat to their holes and cracks in the rocks, wedge themselves in and lock their bodies there by inflating their lungs. Jammed into the cracks like this, with their thorny tail wrapped protectively over their faces, they are incredibly difficult to prise out. They can often be seen sunbathing on top of prominent rocks. In the autumn, the females give birth to one or two young, which stay very near the mother for the first year. They feed on insects on which they run out and pounce.

Cordylus cordylus

Scientific classification :







Species:C. cordylus

Binomial name :

Cordylus cordylus
Linnaeus, 1758

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Video : 

Cordylus cordylus Top # 8 Facts

Care articles :


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1- Cordylus cordylus

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Taxonomy :

Conifer ( Cordylus cordylus Linnaeus, 1758)

Look :

It reaches up to 20 cm long, half of which lies on the spiked tail.

Length of life :

Can live 10 years, in nature often live shorter, because because of its small size often falls victim to larger predators.

The color is dark gray-brown to almost black, the dorsal side and the tail are covered with barbed scales, spikes on the tail serve to protect the lizard , when the predator tries to pull her out of her hiding place she hooks her tail to the rock crevices and prevents her from being pulled out by the enemy; On the neck on both sides of the body is drawn dark, sometimes black rod.

Occurrence :

South Africa.

biotope :

He lives in a dry environment, in the steppes, where there are many rock crevices that serve as shelter.



Special features :


Vivian lizard , often recommended as easy to maintain, recommended to beginners Terrarists, who can often cause problems , is very curious, interest often revealed by the tail movements. These lizards are consistent, they will not fight with representatives of other species. The young kidneys are easy to get used to, the older one is very difficult to tame.


Activity :

Only during the day.

Terrarium :


Steppe, with lots of stones between which the cones will be able to hide; In addition, the terrarium should find the plants , but they should be species resistant to water shortages and lizard claws that love to destroy them. Cones in spite of terrestrial life very much like to climb and soak in high shelves and branches, so the side wall of the terrarium should be made of cork or lined with bark of trees; Swimming pool with water is not necessary, these lizards drink the water that we enjoy terrarium , often when they see that we take the sprinkler set in the place where we most enjoy the terrarium .


Terrarium size :


Dimensions 70/50/40 cm for one male and 2 females.

Lighting :

12 hour cycle.




From 25 to 30 ° C, the temperature may reach 35 ° C under the radiator, the heating cable should be located in the terrarium , and the shaded area, as the cones themselves should match the temperature they match, at night the temperature may drop to 17 ° C .

Humidity :


Should be maintained at 40-50%.


The basic food for crustaceans in the terrarium are crickets that can be easily found in pet stores or set up their own food farms; Some pineapples are very fond of the larvae of the meal, but can not be the only food they eat, besides not all will eat it, in the summer you can catch many insects in the meadows that we can give our pupils; The day before the feeding , insects feed on vitamin-enriched foods, and you can also put in an insect container just to pour vitamins and shake! Do not catch insect venom because their venom can seriously harm the pineapple!

Multiplication :

After a month of lowering the temperature we increase it, we begin to feed abundantly with vitamins-rich pine cones, the cones are vivacious, so you do not have to look for eggs in the terrarium . When we notice that our female is pregnant we are beginning to devote more attention to her than any other cones. Pregnant females will know that they will eat a lot more, drink, start to get more restful and rest. We feed it with vitamin rich food, if we know where the female waits for water, then we use water with added vitamins. Pregnancy lasts 2 to 3 months. Young are born at intervals of about an hour. The birth of one young person takes about 2-3 minutes. In one litter there are 1 to 3 small lizards. We put youngsters in a separate terrariumAnd we feed abundantly, the food should correspond to the size of the young mouths, too large food will not move or choke it. Terrarium for young can have dimensions of 30x30x30 cm. There should be a pool of water with vitamins, a branch and a gap in which to hide. Healthy young immediately after the birthday should start running, should be fast and very busy. We feed them with small insects, spiders. After a few days of birth should start feeding the food. Once they have reached the size where they can easily eat the average size of crickets, we will let them into the terrarium in which we keep the parents.

Wintering : 

It does not winter, you can lower the temperature for a month to get offspring.



             1- Genus Cordylus  - girdled or Armadillo lizard

             2- Genus Chamaesaura - Grass lizards

             3- Genus Platysaurus - Flat lizards

             4- Genus Pseudocordylus   


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