Hemicordylus capensis

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False girdled lizard
Hemicordylus capensis, Hottentots-Holland Mountains - South Africa.jpg
In the Hottentots-Holland, South Africa
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Family: Cordylidae
Genus: Hemicordylus
Species: H. capensis
Binomial name
Hemicordylus capensis
(Smith 1838) Stanley at al, 2011
  • Cordylus capensis
  • Pseudocordylus capensis
  • Hemicordylus robertsi

The false girdled lizard (Hemicordylus capensis) is a lizard species endemic to the Cape Fold Belt of southern South Africa.


The maximum snout-to-vent length is about 76 mm. Like its sister species Hemicordylus nebulosus, it has gracile features, with a phenotype described as intermediate between typical Cordylus and the larger, more robust Pseudocordylus. They have long limbs, and long slender digits. Some populations are melanistic and sexually dichromatic.


Their specialized adaptation to steep rock faces is believed to have favoured their agility and lightly armored anatomy.[1] They give live birth to one to three young.


  1. ^ Eifler et al., 2007; Janse van Rensburg, 2009; Janse van Rensburg et al., 2009
  • Hemicordylus resurrected: Stanley et al, 2011, Between a rock and a hard polytomy: Rapid radiation in the rupicolous girdled lizards (Squamata: Cordylidae)