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Gerrhosaurus auritus BOETTGER, 1887

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Higher TaxaGerrhosauridae (Gerrhosaurinae), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Kalahari Plated Lizard 
SynonymGerrhosaurus auritus BOETTGER 1887: 148
Gerrhosaurus nigrolineatus auritus LOVERIDGE 1942
Gerrhosaurus auritus — FITZSIMONS 1943: 275
Gerrhosaurus multilineatus auritus — AUERBACH 1987: 119
Gerrhosaurus multilineatus auritus — BRANCH 1988
Gerrhosaurus multilineatus auritus — BAUER et al. 1993
Gerrhosaurus auritus — BATES et al. 2013
Gerrhosaurus auritus — BATES et al. 2014: 227
Gerrhosaurus auritus — SCHLEICHER 2020 
DistributionAngola, S Democratic Republic of the Congo (Zaire), Zambia, Namibia, Botswana, Republic of South Africa (Limpopo)

Type locality: Ondonga in Ovamboland.  
TypesHolotype: SMF 13947 (formerly 6120a) 
DiagnosisDescription: Head moderate, length about 5 times into length of head and body, from 1.33 to 1.5 times as long as broad; head shields smooth. Supranasals in short contact with one another, separating rostral and frontonasal, which is broader than long. Prefrontals usually in contact with one another, exceptionally separated by a shod suture between frontonasal and frontal. Frontal 6-sided, about 1.66 times as long as broad. Interparietal very small, 4-sided. Parietals in good contact behind interparietal. 4 Supraoculars, 1st and 4th smallest and subequal, 2nd largest, 2nd and 3rd in contact with frontal, from which 1st is usually separated by a short suture of prefrontal with 2nd supraocular, 4 Supraciliaries, 2nd longest. Anterior loreal smaller than posterior, in contact with frontonasal above and 1st upper labial below. 3 upper labials anterior to subocular, which is distinctly larger than adjacent labials and not or but little narrowed below. Temporal scales smooth, juxtaposed, about 8 in number. Tympanic shield large and semicircular, greatest breadth from a third to half of depth. Scales on nape smooth or but feebly keeled; on back, scales are strongly keeled but not striated, in 26 longitudinal and 51-54 transverse rows; lateral (i.e. 4 lowermost rows) quite smooth in adults and feebly keeled in juveniles. Ventral plates in 8 longitudinal and 32-34 transverse series, the outermost rows of shields are subequal in size to those adjoining on the inside. 14-16 Femoral pores on each side. Limbs somewhat short and stout. Scales on soles of feet flattened, oblique, keeled and imbricate; sub-digital lamellae smooth, 16-18 under 4th toe. Tail from 1.6 to almost twice length of head and body. Three enlarged preanal plates, the median subtriangular, with its apex just separating other two plates posteriorly (FitzSimons 1943: 275).

Colour. Above, buff to sepia or olive brown, flecked and spotted on head and body with dark brown, each scale on back and tail also with a small yellowish elongate spot along its inner edge; on each side dorsolaterally, there are often 3-4 somewhat ill-defined, dark-edged, pale yellowish longitudinal stripes over back and tail, the uppermost commencing from last supraciliary and lowermost from behind ear-opening. Sides of body paler than back, spotted with dark brown and often with irregular pinkish suffusions. Limbs with large yellowish, dark-edged spots above. Lower surfaces uniform creamy white. In juveniles, upper surfaces darker, with a treble series of White-centred, dark spots down middle of back, those of median row being largest; a single dorsolateral, whitish, dark-edged stripe from back of head over back and tail; sides of body paler than above, with series of vertically elongate, yellowish-white spots (FitzSimons 1943: 276). 
CommentSubspecies: Gerrhosaurus auritus bulsi LAURENT 1954 is now considered as a valid species by many authors.

See also comment in G. multilineatus. 
  • Auerbach, R.D. 1987. The Amphibians and Reptiles of Botswana. Mokwepa Consultants, Botswana, 295 pp.
  • 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.
  • BATES, MICHAEL F.; KRYSTAL A. TOLLEY, SHELLEY EDWARDS, ZOË DAVIDS, JESSICA M. DA SILVA, & WILLIAM R. BRANCH 2013. A molecular phylogeny of the African plated lizards, genus Gerrhosaurus Wiegmann, 1828 (Squamata: Gerrhosauridae), with the description of two new genera. Zootaxa 3750 (5): 465–493 - get paper here
  • Bauer, Aaron M.; Branch, William R. & Haacke, Wulf D. 1993. The herpetofauna of the Kamanjab area and adjacent Damaraland, Namibia. Madoqua (Windhoek) 18 (2): 117-145.
  • Bocage,J.V. du B. 1866. Lista dos reptis das possessões portuguezas d'Africa occidental que existem no Museu Lisboa. Jorn. Sci. Math. Phys. Nat. Lisboa 1: 37-56 - get paper here
  • Boettger, O. 1887. Zweiter Beitrag zur Herpetologie Südwest- und Südafrikas. Ber. senckenb. naturf. Ges., Frankfurt am Main, 1887:135-173 - 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. 1960. Sauria, Cordylidae: Gerrhosaurus nigrolineatus anselli n. subsp. Occ. Pap. Nat. Mus. South. Rhodesia 24 (B): 433-434
  • Broadley, D.G. 1991. The Herpetofauna of Northern Mwinilunga Distr., Northw. Zambia. Arnoldia Zimbabwe 9 (37): 519-538
  • Broadley, Donald G. & Rasmussen, G. S. A. 1995. Geographical Distribution. Sauria: Gerrhosauridae: Gerrhosaurus multilineatus auritus Boettger, 1887. African Herp News (23): 47. - get paper here
  • Broadley, Donald G. and F. P. D. Cotterill. 2004. The reptiles of southeast Katanga, an overlooked 'hot spot'. [Congo]. African Journal of Herpetology 53 (1): 35-61. - get paper here
  • FitzSimons, V.F. 1943. The lizards of South Africa. Transvaal Museum Memoir No.1 (Pretoria), 528 pp.
  • Haagner,G.V.; Branch,W.R. & Haagner,A.J.F. 2000. Notes on a collection of reptiles from Zambia and adjacent areas of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Annals of the Eastern Cape Museum 1: 1 – 25
  • 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
  • Hewitt, John 1911. Records of South African Lacertilia and Amphibia, Addenda and Corrigenda. Annals Transvaal Museum 3 (1): 42-55. - get paper here
  • Laurent, RAYMOND F. 1954. Reptiles et batraciens de la région de Dundo (Angola) (Deuxième note). Companhia de Diamantes de Angola (Diamang), Serviços Culturais, Publicações Culturais, No. 23: 37-84
  • Marques, Mariana P.; Luis M. P. Ceríaco , David C. Blackburn , and Aaron M. Bauer 2018. Diversity and Distribution of the Amphibians and Terrestrial Reptiles of Angola -- Atlas of Historical and Bibliographic Records (1840–2017). Proc. Cal. Acad. Sci. (Ser. 4) 65: 1-501 (Supplement II)
  • Pietersen DW, Pietersen EW, Conradie W. 2017. Preliminary herpetological survey of Ngonye Falls and surrounding regions in south-western Zambia. Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 11(1) [Special Section]: 24–43 (e148 - get paper here
  • Schleicher, Alfred 2020. Reptiles of Namibia. Kuiseb Publishers, Windhoek, Namibia, 271 pp.
  • Verburgt, Luke, Ursula K. Verburgt and Michael F. Bates. 2015. Geographic Distribution. Gerrhosaurus auritus Boettger, 1887, Kalahari Plated Lizard. African Herp News (62): 48-49 - get paper here
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