Herpetology of Ethiopia and Eritrea

Our records => Gerrhosauridae, Fitzinger 1843

Gerrhosaurus flavigularis WIEGMANN, 1828

Short description:
Gerrhosaurus flavigularis fitzsimonsi LOVERIDGE 1942: Head small, its length being included in the distance from snout to anus 4.75 (young) to 6 (adult) times; head shields smooth, not striated; rostral separated from the frontonasal; prefrontals broadly in contact, or separatedz; supraoculars 4; supraciliaries 5, rarely 6; tympanic shield narrow, band-like; body cyclotetragonal; dorsals strongly keeled, striated, in 20—22 longitudinal and 59-61 transverse rows; laterals striated and keeled, rarely almost smooth; ventrals in 8 longitudinal and 34—36 transverse rows from pectoral to anal shields; femoral pores 13-15 on each side; fourth toe With 17—19 lamellae below; tail from 2.25 to 2.5 times the length of head and body.
Coloration. Essentially similar to that of the typical form ▼ [According to LOVERIDGE].
Gerrhosaurus flavigularis flavigularis LOVERIDGE 1942: Head small, its length being included in the distance from snout to anus 4.8 (young) to 6.61 (adult) times; head shields smooth or faintly striated; rostral separated from the frontonasal; prefrontals separated or sometimes 2 in contact; supraoculars 4; supraciliaries 5, rarely six; tympanic shield narrow, banddike; body cyclotetragonal; dorsals feeny or strongly keeled, striated, in 20—24 longitudinal and 55-67 transverse rows; laterals keeled and striated in young, smooth in adults, in 8 longitudinal and 32—38 transverse rows from pectoral to anal shields; femoral pores 10—16 on each side; fourth toe with 17—21 lamellae below; tail 1.5 (young) to 2.1 (adult) times the length of head and body.
Coloration. Above, head olive brown or yellowish, uniform or mottled with darker (in young sides of head bright yellow with two vertical black bars in temporal region); a dark-edged, White, greenish, or pale lemon yellow (in young bright yellow), dorsolateral line from supraocular region to tail anteriorly; vertebral region olive to chocolate brown, uniform, or with a pair of fine, dark—edged, pale lines, more usually broken up into a series of black—edged, pale dashes or squarish spots with white central shaft; flanks light olive to sandy brown, uniform or flecked with white, yellow, dull red (adults), dark brown, or black (in young forming black-bordered, greenish, or bright yellow vertical bars); limbs uniform or with blackedged, pale (in young greenish or bright yellow) spots. Below, throat white or yellow, rest of undersurface uniform creamy white or yellowish [According to LOVERIDGE].
A slender, ground-living and burrowing, medium-sized lizard. The head short, rostrum sharp, neck long. The eye is big and pupila round. Ear hole triangular. The body slightly dorsoventral flattened , legs in relation to the body rather shorter, fingers long. The tail is generally about two-thirds of the total length. The scales strongly keeled midbody scale rows = 22-24. Eight abdominal scales in transverse rows. The males have 11 - 17 femoral pores. Maximal lenght 400 mm. Body covered by hard plates, and head shields fused to the skull. The body color greenish-grey or brownish, with a yellow throat and often a narrow stripe down each side. Typical is the side fold from the hindlimbs to the forelimbs and exceeding to the neck. On the side of the neck vertical red blotches, sometimes may be missing or barely visible. On the flanks of the body bright brick-red spots.
Specimens from FMNH (Nairobi, Kenya; Mnazi, Tanganiyka Territory): Transverse dorsal scale-rows 57-59; longitudinal dorsal scalerows 22; longitudinal ventral scale-rows 8; femoral pores 12-17; prefrontals in contact in the Nairobi lizards, separated in the Mnazi specimen. Largest specimen measures 457 (147+310) mm [LOVERIDGE].

Malawi, Mozambique, N Zambia, Republic of South Africa, Swaziland, O-Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, E Sudan, Botswana,Somalia.  In Ethiopia Rift Valley at the Great Lakes region (NP Netch Sar, Langano,...), southwest Dawro regin, Borana. One finding is from Harar in the east.

Diurnal lizard, it hunts insects and is rarely seen, despite its size. It moves rapidly through the "grass" and at any sign of danger darts into its burrow, usually positioned under a bush. The female lays clutches of four or five eggs (1,5 x 2 cm) in a shallow pit which she excavates. Hunt a variety of arthropods including termites, locusts or centipedes.

From Ethiopia is sometimes reported ssp. Gerrhosaurus flavigularis fitzsimonsi LANZA 1988.

Description original:
Wiegmann,A.F.A. Beiträge zur Amphibienkunde. Isis (Oken) 21: 364-383 15

Common english name: Yellow-throated Plated Lizard

Gerrhosaurus flavigularis - as prey of Bucorvus abyssinicus (Northern Groundbill), Dawro, Gojeb river valley
Gerrhosaurus flavigularis - Habitat, Gojeb valley, Dawro, Dabub, Gamo Gofa keflehager, Ethiopia

Broadleysaurus major (DUMÉRIL, 1851)

Broadleysaurus major

Short description:
Gerrhosaurus major bottegoi according to LOVERIDGE: Head moderate, its length being included in the distance from snout to anus 4 (young) to 5.2 (adult) times; head shie’lds rugose; rostral rarely in contact with, usually separated from the frontonasal; frontonasal much subject to subdivision though often entire; prefrontals broadly in contact; supraoculars 4; supraciliaries 5, rarely 4 or 6; tympanic shield narrow, band-like; body cyclotetragonal or slightly depressed; dorsals strongly keeled, striated or rugose, in 17-20 longitudinal and 33-36 transverse rows; laterals keeled and striated; ventral in 10 longitudinal and 32-34 transverse rows from pectoral to anal shields; femoral pores 10—17 on each side; fourth toe with 13-17 lamellae below; tail about 1.25 to nearly 1.5 times the length of head and body.
Coloration. Above, head buff, each shield flecked with black; body and tail buff, almost every scale heavily streaked with black thus forming regular lines on the whole back so that in common with the flanks, limbs, and tail, it presents the appearance of being brown or black spotted with buff; from back of head to lumbar region a more or less distinct yellowish dorsolateral line. Below, chin and throat white; limbs whitish; belly and tail brownish with fine, light, longitudinal lines along the edges of the ventrals and subcaudals.
A large lizard, adult size is 450–600 mm, whereof the tail is less than half the length. The body heavily plated, covered in transverse bands of more or less square plate like scales, and head shields are fused to the skull. Midbody scale rows 14 - 18, 10 ventrals in transverse rows. Ear hole pronounced, triangular. The males and females have 9 to 17 femoral pores, males more.
Specimen from FMNH, Bisan River Ethiopia: Transverse dorsal scale-rows 36; longitudinal dorsal scale-rows 18; longitudinal ventral scale-rows 10; femoral pores 13. Total length 422 (192+230) mm [in LOVERIDGE as Gerrhosaurus major zechi syn. = Broadleysaurus major bottegoi].

In Ethiopia, in places in the south (Kenya border), in Ogaden and on west Gambella, along sudan border.

Diurnal and terrestrial lizard which inhabits rocks and termite mounds. Males are highly territorial. Female lays about 6 eggs 2.5 x 5 cm into deep holes, mainly in the termite mounds. They are omnivorous, feed different arthropods but also plants.
Gerrhosaurus major major DUMÉRIL, 1851 - In eastern Africa: southern Sudan, western Ethiopia and Eritrea. Otherwise Ghana, Benin, Togo, Central African Republic, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Zambie, Jižní Afrika.
Gerrhosaurus major bottegoi DEL PRATO, 1895 - Kenya, Somalia, southeast Ethiopia, and probably northern Tanzania.

Description original:
Duméril, A.M.C. & A. H. A. DUMÉRIL: Catalogue méthodique de la collection des reptiles du Muséum d'Histoire Naturelle de Paris. Gide et Baudry/Roret, Paris, 224 pp.

Common english name: Rough-scaled Plated Lizard or Sudan Plated Lizard.

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