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Platysaurus capensis SMITH, 1844

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Higher TaxaCordylidae (Platysaurinae), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Namaqua Flat Lizard, Cape Flat Lizard 
SynonymPlatysaurus capensis SMITH 1844
Platysaurus capensis — BOULENGER 1885: 261
Platysaurus capensis— BAUER & BRANCH 2003
Platysaurus capensis — STANLEY et al. 2011
Platysaurus capensis — SCHLEICHER 2020 
DistributionNW Republic of South Africa, S Namibia (Lower Orange River valley below Augrabies Falls, extending along Fish River into S Namibia and south to Garies in the Cape); restricted to the greater Kamiesberg region, from Carolusberg near Springbok south of Garies, Northern Cape Province

Type locality: “Great Namaqualand”, retricted to Kamiesberg region, Namaqualand, Northern Cape Province, South Africa (by Whiting et al. 2015).  
TypesLectotype: BMNH 1946.8.29.26 (formerly BM; syntype (paralectotype) MNHN (= MHNP) 2807 (2500). 
DiagnosisDefinition (genus): Extremely dorso-ventrally flattened. Medium to very large-bodied (maximum snout-vent-length, SVL 73– 146 mm), limbs long and digits unreduced. Granular dorsal scales, ventrals large, square or quadrangular, smooth, juxtaposed, in regular longitudinal and transverse series. Caudal scales not spinose and arranged in whorls. Osteoderms restricted to dorsum of head fide Lang 1991. Oviparous, laying 1–2 eggs. Sexually dichromatic, with brightly colored males and cryptic females [from STANLEY et al. 2011]. 
CommentSynonymy: Eastern populations of P. capensis are now Platysaurus broadleyi.

Distribution: see map in Whiting et al. 2015 (Fig. 1)

Type species: Platysaurus capensis SMITH 1844 is the type species of the genus Platysaurus SMITH 1844. 
  • 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.
  • Bauer, A.M., and Branch, W.R. 2003. The herpetofauna of the Richtersveld National Park, Northern Cape Province, Republic of South Africa. Herpetological Natural History 8: 111-160 [2001]
  • Blackburn, D.G. 1993. STANDARDIZED CRITERIA FOR THE RECOGNITION OF REPRODUCTIVE MODES IN SQUAMATE REPTILES. Herpetologica 49 (1): 118-132 - get paper here
  • 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
  • Branch, William R. 1993. A Photographic Guide to Snakes and Other Reptiles of Southern Africa. Cape Town: Struik Publishers, 144 S.
  • Broadley, D. G. 1978. A revision of the Genus Platysaurus A. Smith. Occ. Papers Nat. Museum south. Rhodesia, B, 6 (4): 129-185
  • Herrmann, H.-W.; W.R. Branch 2013. Fifty years of herpetological research in the Namib Desert and Namibia with an updated and annotated species checklist. Journal of Arid Environments 93: 94–115 - 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
  • Schleicher, Alfred 2015. Reptilien Namibias. Namibia Scientific  Society, 276 pp.
  • Schleicher, Alfred 2020. Reptiles of Namibia. Kuiseb Publishers, Windhoek, Namibia, 271 pp.
  • Scott, Ian A.W.; J. Scott Keogh and Martin J. Whiting 2004. Shifting sands and shifty lizards: molecular phylogeny and biogeography of African flat lizards (Platysaurus). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 31: 618–629 - get paper here
  • Smith, A. 1844. Illustrations of the zoology of South Africa, Reptilia. Smith, Elder, and Co., London - 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
  • WHITING, MARTIN J.; 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 - get paper here
  • Whiting, Martin J.;Greeff, Jaco M. 1997. Facultive frugivory in the Cape Flat Lizard, Platysaurus capensis (Sauria: Cordylidae). Copeia 1997 (4): 811-818 - get paper here
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