Ocellated flat lizard

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Ocellated flat lizard
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Family: Cordylidae
Genus: Platysaurus
Species: P. ocellatus
Binomial name
Platysaurus ocellatus
Broadley, 1962[1]

The ocellated flat lizard or Chimanimani flat lizard (Platysaurus ocellatus) is a species of lizard in the family Cordylidae. It is endemic to the Chimanimani Mountains of south eastern Zimbabwe and western Mozambique.


Ocellated flat lizards are similar to the Cape flat lizard. The have a flat body which is covered in granular scales and a flattened triangular shaped head. The tail is long and tapered with lateral spines. Females and juveniles are brown with white spots. The larger males are also brown, with a black head. The tail is orange-yellow underneath. Unlike other Platysaurus species the females and juveniles of the ocellated flat lizard do not have three lateral white stripes on the dorsum.[2]

Habitat and distribution[edit]

The ocellated flat lizard lives in woodlands with quartzite rocks. The geographical area it lives in includes the Chimanimani Mountains in eastern Zimbabwe, as well as western Mozambique. [3]


Ocellated flat lizards eat beetles and plant matters (flowers, leaves, and seeds). They lay two eggs in October or November which are laid communally with other females within cracks in the rocks.[4] The compressed shape of their bodies allows them to shelter in cracks in rocks and other crevices. They are gregarious and can be seen in groups. However males engage in competition over space and access to females and display by exposing their brightly colored bellies by tilting sideways, or lift the head and shoulders up on stiffened front legs, showing off the bright colours of the throat and chest.[4][2][5][6]


The ocellated flat lizard has a very restricted range and is classified as endangered in Mozambique.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Platysaurus ocellatus". The Reptile Database. Retrieved 2007-08-26. 
  2. ^ a b W.R. Branch; M.J. Whiting (1997). "A new Platysaurus (Squamata: Cordylidae) from Northern Cape Province, South Africa" (PDF). African Journal of Herpetology. 46 (2): 124–136. 
  3. ^ "Platysaurus ocellatus". Encyclopedia of Life. Retrieved 21 November 2016. 
  4. ^ a b "Platysaurus". Ed Stanley. Retrieved 21 November 2016. 
  5. ^ Vincent Carruthers (2000). The Wildlife of Southern Africa. Struik. ISBN 1 86872 451 4. 
  6. ^ Martin J. Whiting; William R. Branch; Mitzy Pepper; J. Scott Keogh (2015). "A new species of spectacularly coloured flat lizard Platysaurus (Squamata: Cordylidae: Platysaurinae) from southern Africa". Zootaxa. 3986 (2): 173–192. 
  7. ^ "National Report on Implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity in Mozambique" (PDF). Ministry for the Coordination of Environmental Affairs. Retrieved 21 November 2016. 

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