The greatest diversity of girdled lizards, and their probable center of origin, is south of the Zambezi River, although a number of species extend into central and East Africa. Flat lizards have speciated explosively in Zimbabwe and adjacent areas, where 14 species (some with local races) occur. Two isolated species occur in the Northern Cape province of South Africa, one extending into southern Namibia. Grass and snake lizards are restricted mainly to southern Africa, although both have representatives in the savannas of central Africa. Plated lizards extend through the savannas of southern and central Africa, reaching Ethiopia in the north and Ghana in the west. Two genera also occur on Madagascar and have been introduced to a number of other Indian Ocean islands (e.g., Aldabra).
Was this article helpful?