- A-Z Animals
The Armadillo Girdled Lizard, also called the golden armadillo lizard, armadillo spiny-tailed lizard, and armadillo lizard inhabits the desert regions of South Africa. It gets its named after the armored mammal, the Armadillo, since, like the latter, this lizard also has a hard scaly appearance and can coil up to protect itself.
Size: Length: 3.0 – 3.5 in (7.5 – 9 cm), Weight: 8 -17 pounds (3.6 – 7.7 kg)
Head: It has a flat head covered with spines and scales.
Tail: Its club-shaped tail, with spiny projections, is 14-16 inches long.
Body and Coloration: They have hard squarish scales on their back that are yellow or brown. Their underbelly, starting from their chin, have black markings against the yellow base.
The species makes its home in the Northern and Western Cape provinces of South Africa.
It lives in desert regions, preferring sparse vegetation and rocky outreaches. It also resides on mountain slopes with sandstone substrates.
They live for around 20 years.
The Armadillo girdled lizard mainly eats insects, spiders, and some plant material.
The Armadillo girdled lizard is attacked by birds of prey like falcons, ospreys, and eagles.
Both sexes are polygamous and mate with multiple members of the opposite gender during the mating season. After a 6-8-month gestation period, the females give birth to live young.
In general, 1-2 babies are born at a time. The Armadillo girdled lizard takes care and feeds its young, another unusual trait among lizards. The young gain sexual` maturity as they grow to about 4 inches.
The IUCN lists this species as “LC” or “Least Concern”. However, it was “Vulnerable” until 1996, the illegal pet trade being one of the prime reasons. After the impositions of trading regulations, the population rose and remains stable at present.