The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Giant Girdled Lizard

Afrikaans name: Ouvolk

Giant Girdled Lizard

Giant Girdled Lizard

Photo © beltsazar -

Cordylus giganteus

The Giant Girdled Lizard is often referred to as the Sungazer. They get this name from their habit of sunbathing at the entrance to their burrows.

These lizards live in burrows which they dig themselves. Their preferred habitat is sandy grassland.

These are slow-breeding creatures. They have one or two offspring every two to three years.

Giant Girdled Lizards mainly feed on insects. Their spiky scales give them some protection from predators.

Unfortunately the numbers of these species are on the decline because of habitat loss and their slow breeding rate. To make this worse they are sold as pets despite it being illegal. They do not breed in captivity which means that all stock for the pet industry is smuggled out of South Africa.

References and further reading

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

Wildlife of Southern Africa - Author: Martin Withers and David Hosking - Published: 2011 - Page: 254

Reptiles of Southern Africa - Author: Rod Patterson and Anothony Bannister - Published: 1987 - Page: 56

Southern African Wildlife - Author: Readers Digest - Published: 1989 - Page: 237

Reptiles & Amphibians of Southern Africa - Author: Warren Schmidt - Published: 2006 - Page: 65

Questions and Answers - Snakes and Reptiles of Southern Africa - Author: John Comrie-Greig - Published: 1992 - Page: 6

Questions and Answers - Endangered Wildlife of Southern Africa - Author: John Comrie-Greig - Published: 1992 - Page: 18

Illustrated Guide to the Game Parks and Nature Reserves of SA - 2nd edn - Author: Readers Digest - Published: 1991 - Page: 407

Bill Branchs Field Guide to the Snakes and Other Reptiles of Southern Africa - Author: Bill Branch - Published: 1988 - Page: 159

A Guide to the Reptiles of Southern Africa - Author: Graham Alexander and Johan Marais - Published: 2007 - Page: 255


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