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Smaug regius (BROADLEY, 1962)

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Higher TaxaCordylidae (Cordylinae), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Regal Girdled Lizard 
SynonymCordylus warreni regius BROADLEY 1962: 808
Cordylus regius — BRANCH 1998
Smaug regius — STANLEY et al. 2011
Smaug regius — REISSIG 2014 

Type locality: Dora, 8 miles S.S.W. of Umtali, Southern Rhodesia at 3700 ft. elevation (= 1100 m elevation)  
TypesHolotype: NMZB, previously UM/H 1210, adult male 
DiagnosisDIAGNOSIS. A race intermediate in many respects between C. w. warreni of Zululand and C. w. mossambicus of Gorongoza Mt., Mozambique, but also showing affinities with C. w. barbertonensis of the eastern Transvaal. The dorsal scalation is similar to that of mossambicus, but the scales are 'rather larger and more spinose, in 24-26 longitudinal rows (28 in mossambicus, 20-22 in warreni). The development of spines on limbs and body is similar to that in warreni, but the new form has the more strongly depressed head of barbertonensis. It would appear that regius attains a greater size than the other races and the brilliant orange or yellow lateral and ventral coloration in the males seems to be peculiar to this form; Other distinctive characters are the shape of the preocular and the tendency towards eight occipitals (not more than six in other races). 
CommentIllustration of C. w. regius in Reptilia (Münster) 8 (2): 25 and Reptilia (GB) (29): 15. 
  • Branch, W. R. 1998. Field Guide to the Snakes and Other Reptiles of Southern Africa. 3rd ed. Fully Revised and Updated to Include 83 New Species. Ralph Curtis Books (Sanibel Island, Florida), 399 pp.
  • Broadley, D.G. 1962. On some reptile collections from the North-Western and North-Eastern Districts of Southern Rhodesia 1958-1961, with descriptions of four new lizards. Occ. Pap. Nat. Mus. South. Rhodesia 26 (B): 787-843
  • Mouton, le Fras; Alexander Flemming; Michael Bates and Chris Broeckhoven 2018. The relationship between generation gland morphology and armour in Dragon Lizards (Smaug): a reassessment of ancestral states for the Cordylidae. Amphibia-Reptilia 39 (4): 445–456 - get paper here
  • Reissig, J. 2014. Girdled Lizards and Their Relatives. Edition Chimaira, Frankfurt, ISBN-10: 3899734378
  • 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
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