Girdle-tailed Lizards, Sungazers and Armadillo Lizards are just some of the common names for members of this genus.
©2001 Melissa Kaplan
The genus Cordylus is native to Southern Africa. There are twenty-eight species in the hot (depending on the species), dry, rocky regions. Members of the Cordylidae family, these lizards are in the group of spiny-tailed or girdled-tailed lizards in the Scincomorpha infraorder.
The Cordylus are found through dry, semi-arid regions. Diurnal, terrestrial and somewhat fossorial and saxicolous, they live in rocky outcroppings and boulder fields, hiding in crevices or burrows they dig (C. giganteus). When threatened, they retreat to burrows or crevices and inflate themselves to lodge themselves in, making extraction difficult.
Largely insectivorous, they are opportunistic omnivores, with species of all sizes occasionally eating plant matter as well as insects, small mammals, birds, etc.
As with many types of lizards, the males have larger femoral pores than the males.
The females are ovoviviparous, bearing 1-6 young a year. (Ovo=egg; viviparous=live bearing - so these are a mix of the two forms of birthing: eggs are incubated inside the female, hatching inside or immediately upon being laid); some sources call them viviparous.
Some say a drinking water dish is not absolutely necessary if the one area of the enclosure is sprayed daily (this would be an ideal place for the plant and some cupped rocks to collect the water). As always, the problem with this is that the lizard may be thirsty at other times. A small shallow bowl kept filled with fresh water ensures water availability ad lib. In addition, the substrate should have one area that does not dry out completely (they lay in this area and take up water through their skin.
The Cordylus needs access to UVB 12-14 hrs/day.
As with all species, they require darkness at night so use of non-white light heat sources will be required where the ambient room air temperature fails to meet the gradient needs.
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