The size of this animal can range between 14 and 20 inches, however closer to the lower figure of 14 inches is more common.
Habitat and Distribution
This species inhabits rocky deserts and scrubland, where it will hide in rock crevices when threatened. They can be found throughout much of Eastern and Southern Africa.
The average life expectancy of this lizard is between 10 and 15 years.
These are omnivores, which means that they will eat just about anything. Their diet mainly consists of insects and small rodents, however they will also often eat plant matter and fruits.
Groups and Breeding
Large groups of these lizards can often be seen sharing a common area in the wild, however they are not a particularly social animal. Such groups are only the result of sharing a site which has good potential for breeding and feeding, and is close to water. They breed at the end of the cooler period of the year (which lasts around 4 to 6 weeks). After this the females will lay a clutch of 2 to 6 eggs which hatch after an incubation period of 3 to 4 months.
This is a very common lizard throughout its home range and does not have any direct threats at this time. However over time this may well change as more of their habitat is taken over by human (although luckily deserts and dry scrub are not the most popular development sites for people). Also they are extensively caught and exported for the pet trade which may eventually catch up with their natural numbers.
Of all the Gerrhosaururidae lizards (Plated Lizards) these are the most armoured.