Herpetology of Ethiopia and Eritrea

Our records => Cordylidae Mertens, 1937

Cordylus rivae BOULENGER, 1896

Cordylus rivae in south Ethiopia

A small Cordylus, similar to kenyan Cordylus beraducci, maximum length up to 210 mm, SVL 100 mm. Head once and one third as long as broad. Nasals scarcely swollen, in contact with each other, pierced in the middle; frontonasal pentagonal, longer than broad, separating the praefrontals , and forming a broad suture with the frontal; frontal very narrow, hexagonal; interparietal large, nearly as long as and much broader than the frontal, pointed in front and in contact with the frontoparietals, rounded behind; temporals in five longitudinal rows; no spines; four supraoculars; three supraciliaries; a loreal, a praeocular, and two suboculars; six lower labials and five large chin-shields on each side; gular scales small, keeled, gradually increasing in size posteriorly. Dorsal scales large, strongly keeled, pointed behind, in 20 longitudinal and 24 transverse series. Ventral scales in 12 longitudinal and 25 transverse series, obtusely keeled on the breast and sides. Praeanal scales small, subequal. Three femoral pores on each side. Tail with whorls of large strongly keeled spinose . scales; the keels strong even on the subcaudal scales. Reddish brown above and beneath, dark brown along the middle of the back and on the sides [according to BOULENGER].

South Ethiopia. The species is known only from two locaties. The oldest finding is referred to as "Giacorsa" Gallaland, Ethiopia (04°10´N, 39°50´E, holotype MSNG 28900). The second find 100 km east of Negelle Borana (BM 1977.1238-1241, a NHMAA/H.774.1-3). We found it around the city Filtu.
Yirmed Demeke(1996) presents observations of the species in Mago National Park in southwest Ethiopia.

It inhabits wooded savannah, where it is found under the bark and under fallen trunks. Prey insects, worms. Its ovovivipar = female give birth, one or two youngs.

Description original:
Boulenger,G.A.: A list of the reptiles and batrachians collected by the late Prince Eugenio Ruspoli in Somaliland and Gallaland in 1893. Annali Mus. civ. Stor. nat. Genova, Giacomo Doria, (2) 17: 5-14 [11]

Common english name: Ethiopian Girdled Lizard

Cordylus rivae locality in south Ethiopia

For comparison Cordylus beraducci - Nairobi,Kenya

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