The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Armadillo Girdled Lizard

Afrikaans name: Letermago Gordelakkedis

Armadillo Girdled Lizard

Armadillo Girdled Lizard

Photo © mgkuijpers -

Cordylus cataphractus

The Armadillo Girdled Lizard is covered in plates and scales and spikes giving it an unusual look. Their defense mechanism when threatened, and they are away from the security of the rocks, is to roll into a ball by biting and hanging on to their tail.

It is found in dry portions of the Karoo in the extreme west of South Africa.

Armadillo Girdled Lizards make their home in cracks in rocks where they live in family groups.

These reptiles feed on insects.

Armadillo Girdled Lizards give birth to one or two babies towards the end of summer.

Their unusual appearance and habits make them popular in the pet industry which is a threat to their populations in the wild.

References and further reading

Southern Africas Threatened Wildlife - Author: John Ledger - Published: 1990 - Page: 66

Southern African Wildlife - Author: Readers Digest - Published: 1989 - Page: 238

Reptiles of Southern Africa - Author: Rod Patterson and Anothony Bannister - Published: 1987 - Page: 57

Reptiles & Amphibians of Southern Africa - Author: Warren Schmidt - Published: 2006 - Page: 64

Bill Branchs Field Guide to the Snakes and Other Reptiles of Southern Africa - Author: Bill Branch - Published: 1988 - Page: 157

Questions and Answers - Endangered Wildlife of Southern Africa - Author: John Comrie-Greig - Published: 1992 - Page: 12

A Guide to the Reptiles of Southern Africa - Author: Graham Alexander and Johan Marais - Published: 2007 - Page: 261


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