Species group: Girdled Lizards and Armadillo Lizards
Other common names: East African Spiny-tailed Lizard, Dwarf Sungazer
Scientific name: Cordylus tropidosternum
The Tropical Girdled Lizard or Dwarf Sungazer is found in East Africa, from Kenya, Congo, and Malawi to Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and Tanzania. They inhabit dry forests and stay under dead tree bark or in grassland tunnels.
Appearance / health:
Like other Girdled Lizards, the Dwarf Sungazer has bony plates that support their spiny scales, which are especially large and pointed in the tail region. They average 7 inches in length, with the male slightly larger than the female. The body color is brown, with dark and light markings. A dark band runs from the ear to the shoulder. The belly is creamy white, as well as the throat and lips. Males have larger femoral pores than the females.
Behavior / temperament:
These lizards are favored pets because they are hardy and easy to feed, and they can be hand-fed. They are terrestrial and rock-dwelling, but also enjoy arboreal activities.
The ideal cage for the Tropical Girdled Lizard is a medium to large desert-type terrarium decorated with plenty of hiding places like cork tubes, hollow logs, driftwood, or stable piles of flat stones. Climbing structures will also be appropriate because these terrestrial lizards also clamber up dead tree branches. The substrate must be at least 2 inches thick with a mixture of soil, sand, and loam. A water container is necessary for drinking and soaking. Day temp: 86-95F; night temp: 68-71F; basking temp: 104F; humidity: 40-60%; lighting: up to 14 hours, UV radiation required
Dwarf Sungazers are community lizards that can get along together unless mating season when males become aggressive about their territories. Under optimum conditions, these lizards can be hardy and live for more than 20 years.
Tropical Girdled Lizards are insectivores. They feed on moths, spiders, crickets, grasshoppers, and other insects. Gut-loaded crickets and mineral-dusted insects are recommended.
Fascinating little lizard, captive bred ones
dwarf sungazers, egg sac, interesting survival trait
Fascinating little lizard
I love dwarf sungazers - a small lizard with a lot of personality. I have worked with both wild caught, and captive bred (and bred them myself!) and wild caught animals tend to be very fast and flighty, although not aggressive. The captive bred ones who have been handled from a young age become quite tame, and adjust far better to captivity - being more confident and active as well.
A small species, they will use as much space as you give them, and need UVB lighting and a basking spot. If you only have a small tank (2ft+) then it would be suitable for one or two.
If you get the opportunity to breed them then please do, we need more of this species in captivity - but it's also a great thing to watch. Babies are born in an egg sac which they hatch out of within anywhere from a few minutes to an hour. It's a really interesting survival trait which isn't quite live bearing but isn't true egg laying either - if you catch it happening, it's amazing to watch..
From Athravan Jun 18 2015 3:20AM