Armadillo Girdled Lizard

Published on May 25, 2009 by in Endangered, Reptiles

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This little fellow lives in the hills and mountains above the Verlorenvlei.

I guess he was a little scared of the photographer:

Armadillo Lizards have an interesting defense, in that if frightened, they will grab their tail in their mouth and curl up into a ball. This animal is named after the armadillo for its appearance and a similar defense mechanism. (Wikipedia)

Also known as Armadillo Spiny-tailed Lizards, or Typical Girdled Lizard, these reptiles are endemic to desert areas of Southern Africa.   Fortunately, trade in girdled lizards is banned in South Africa, unlike in other parts of the world.

This heavily armoured lizard is threatened by illegal collection for the pet trade. Unfortunately, it can be a fairly sluggish mover and so relatively easily caught when out in the open, and the fact that it lives in groups makes this attractive reptile particularly vulnerable

The armadillo girdled lizard is listed on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), meaning that any international trade in this species should be carefully monitored (ARKive)

More about these lizards here.

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