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Ouroborus cataphractus (BOIE, 1828)

IUCN Red List - Ouroborus cataphractus - Vulnerable, VU

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Higher TaxaCordylidae (Cordylinae), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Armadillo Girdled Lizard 
SynonymCordylus cataphractus BOIE 1828
Zonurus cataphractus — GRAY 1831
Cordylus nebulosus SMITH 1838
Zonurus cataphractus — DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1839: 355
Zonurus cataphractus — BOULENGER 1885: 255
Cordylus cataphractus — ELZEN 1982
Cordylus cataphractus — FROST et al. 2001
Ouroborus cataphractus — STANLEY et al. 2011
Ouroborus cataphractus — BATES et al. 2014: 200 
DistributionSW Republic of South Africa

Type locality: unknown. Boie said “vielleicht ein anderer Theil dieses Continents” [= maybe a different part of this continent (Africa)].  
TypesHolotype: RMNH RENA 3603 
CommentType species: Cordylus cataphractus BOIE 1828 is the type species of the genus Ouroborus STANLEY et al. 2011. 
EtymologyProbably named after the Greek kataphraktos (κατάφρακτος) meaning armored, shielded or completely enclosed.

The genus was named after “ouroborus”, the symbol of a dragon biting or swallowing its own tail to form a circle, and refers to the characteristic defensive behavior of the type species, in which the tail is grasped in the mouth and the plated dorsum and spiny tail presented to attackers (hence the common name armadillo lizard). Latinized version of the Greek “oura” – tail and boros – devouring. The word is masculine. 
  • Bates, M.F.; Branch, W.R., Bauer, A.M.; Burger, M., Marais, J.; Alexander, G.J. & de Villliers, M.S. (eds.) 2014. Atlas and Red List of the Reptiles of South Africa, Lesotho, and Swaziland. Suricata 1. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria, 512 pp.
  • BERGHOF, H.-P.: 2011. Bemerkungen zur Geschlechtsreife von Cordyliden am Beispiel von Ouroborus cataphractus, Smaug mossambicus und Smaug warreni depressus. Sauria 33 (4): 41-46 - get paper here
  • Boie, Friedrich 1828. Über eine noch nicht beschriebene Art von Cordylus Gronov. Cordylus cataphractus Boie. Nova Acta Academiae Caesareae Leopoldino-Carolinae, (Halle), 14 (1): 139-142.
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1885. Catalogue of the lizards in the British Museum (Natural History). Vol. 2, Second edition. London, xiii+497 pp. - get paper here
  • Cooper Jr., W.E. 2005. Duration of movement as a lizard foraging movement variable. Herpetologica 61 (4): 363-372 - get paper here
  • Duméril, A. M. C. and G. Bibron. 1839. Erpétologie Générale on Histoire Naturelle Complète des Reptiles. Vol. 5. Roret/Fain et Thunot, Paris, 871 pp. - get paper here
  • Elzen, Paul van den 1982. Cordylus cataphractus Boie. Supplément à la Revue Francaise d'Aquariologie, 9 (3), 3/1982: Fiche n° 240 und 241: 4 S.
  • Flemming, A.F. & P. Le F.N. Mouton 2002. Reproduction in a Group-Living Lizard, Cordylus cataphractus (Cordylidae), from South Africa Journal of Herpetology 36 (4): 691-696. - get paper here
  • Frost, D.; Janies, D.; Le Fras N. Mouton, P. & Titus, T. 2003. A molecular perspective on the phylogeny of the Girdled Lizards (Cordylidae, Squamata). American Museum Novitates (3310): 1-10 - get paper here
  • Gray, J. E. 1831. A synopsis of the species of Class Reptilia. In: Griffith, E & E. Pidgeon: The animal kingdom arranged in conformity with its organisation by the Baron Cuvier with additional descriptions of all the species hither named, and of many before noticed [V Whittaker, Treacher and Co., London: 481 + 110 pp. [1830] - get paper here
  • Jes, Harald 1967. Der Panzergürtelschweif, Cordylus cataphractus. Das Aquarium, 1 (1): 29.
  • KRABBE-PAULDURO, Ursula & Ernst PAULDURO jr. 1991. Pflege und Nachzucht des Panzergürtelschweifs Cordylus cataphractus BOlE 1828. Sauria 13 (2): 11-13 - get paper here
  • Mouton, P. Le Fras N. 2011. Aggregation behaviour of lizards in the arid western regions of South Africa. African Journal of Herpetology 60 (2): 155-170 - get paper here
  • MOUTON, P. LE FRAS N.; DAHNÉ A. JANSE VAN RENSBURG and JOHANNES H. VAN WYK 2010. Epidermal glands in cordylid lizards, with special reference to generation glands. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 158: 312–324. - get paper here
  • Mouton, P. le Fras N.; Janine L. Glover, and Alexander F. Flemming 2014. Solitary Individuals in Populations of the Group-Living Lizard Ouroborus Cataphractus: Voluntary or Forced? African Zoology 49 (2): 307-310 - get paper here
  • Mouton, P.L.N.;Van Wyk, J.H. & Kanga, E.M. 1999. Grouping behavior, tail biting behavior, and sexual dimorphism in the armadillo lizard (Cordylus cataphractus) from South Africa. Journal of Zoology 249: 1-10 - get paper here
  • Peers, B. 1930. A Record of the Peculiarities of the Lizard Zonurus cataphractus (Boie), as Observed During Travels in Namaqualand in May 1928. South African Journal of Natural History (Pretoria), 6 (5): 402-411.
  • Popp, Bruno 1931. Meine Panzergürtelschweife (Zonurus cataphractus). Das Aquarium (Berlin), 1931 (11): 191-194.
  • Popp, Bruno 1949. Cordylus cataphractus. Wochenschrift für Aquarien- und Terrarienkunde (Braunschweig), 43 (10): 300-301.
  • Reissig, J. 2014. Girdled Lizards and Their Relatives. Edition Chimaira, Frankfurt, ISBN-10: 3899734378
  • Schmidt, P. 1930. Zonurus cataphractus Boie. Das Aquarium (Berlin), 1930: 153-155.
  • Senfft, W. 1931. Zonurus cataphractus Boie. Das Aquarium (Berlin), 1931: 73-75.
  • Smith, A. 1838. Contributions to South African zoology. Art. VI. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (1) 2: 30-33 - get paper here
  • Stanley, Edward L.; Aaron M. Bauer; Todd R. Jackman, William R. Branch, P. Le Fras N. Mouton 2011. Between a rock and a hard polytomy: rapid radiation in the rupicolous girdled lizard (Squamata: Cordylidae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 58(1): 53-70. - get paper here
  • Switak, Karl H. 1987. Der Panzergürtelschweif, Cordylus cataphractus Boie, 1828. Das Aquarium (221): 589-591.
  • Switak, Karl H. 1995. Girdle-tailed lizards of the genus Cordylus. Reptiles 3 (6): 8-24
  • Switak, Karl H. 1995. Die Gürtelschweife der Gattung Cordylus. TI-Magazin, Nr. 121 (Januar 1995), 42-47.
  • Truter, Johannes Christoff, Johannes Hendrik van Wyk and Pieter le Fras Nortier Mouton. 2014. An evaluation of daily, seasonal and population-level variation in the termal preference of a group-living lizard, Ouroborus cataphractus (Sauria: Cordylidae). Amphibia-Reptilia 35 (4): 391-403 - get paper here
  • Visagie, L. et al. 2002. Intergroup-movement in a group-living lizard, Cordylus cataphractus, from South Africa. African Journal of Herpetology 51 (1): 75-80 - get paper here
  • Visagie, Louise; Mouton, P. le Fras N.; Bauwens, Dirk 2005. Experimental Analysis of Grouping Behaviour in Cordylid Lizards. The Herpetological Journal 15: 91-96 - get paper here
  • Weslak & Vogel 1993. Einige Daten zur Haltung und Nachzucht des Panzergürtelschweifs Cordylus cataphractus Boie,1824. Herpetofauna 15 (86): 18-20 - get paper here
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