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Cordylus Girdle Tail Lizard - Cordylus giganteus - Giant Girdled Lizard

Cordylus Girdle Tail Lizard - Cordylus giganteus - Giant Girdled Lizard
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Aquarium suitability:
Care level:
Easy with Proper Care
Extreme Friendly
Crickets, mealworms, wax worms, roaches; dusted 2-3 times per week.
South Africa
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$51.01 (34.01%)
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Out of Stock

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Cordylus giganteus, the Sungazer, Giant Spiny-tailed Lizard, Giant Zonure, or Giant Girdled Lizard is the largest species of Girdled Lizard. They live in colonies and dig burrows into the silty soil of the Themeda grassland in South Africa. The name Sungazer comes from their habit of sitting at the burrow entrance and facing the sun. They are insectivores, but occasionally will eat small vertebrates. Sungazers reproduce every other year, and only produce one or two offspring. The decline in numbers is a result of habitat destruction (conversion of the grassland to farmland) and illegal collecting for the great pet trade.

Sungazers are protected by spiny dorsal scales and large spines run along the back of the head. The tail is armed by whorls of large spines and is waved at predators that pursue it into a burrow. Adults are 150-180 mm from the snout to the vent. The back is yellow to dark brown and the sides are yellow. Males can be identified by the presence of enlarged scales on the forearm.

Captive bred Sungazers, usually juveniles, are occasionally imported from South Africa to the U. S. and command a very high price. They are long-lived, hardy captives, but rarely reproduce in captivity.Cordylus tropidosternum and Cordylus jonesii are occasionally marketed as “Dwarf Sungazers.”

The Giant Girdled Lizard can grow up to a total length of about 37 cm. It is brown in color on the upper surface, merging to straw coloured laterally and ventrally. This lizard has four very large, spiny scales on the back of the head. The dorsal scales are large and spiny, differentiated from the lateral scales which are smaller but still spiny. The ventral scales are smooth and flat, laterally somewhat spiny as these are those of the neck. The tail has whorls of large, very spinose scales, decreasing in size from the base to the tip. Juveniles are generally similar in color to the adults but with patches of orange-brown on the body.

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