A new Platysaurus (Squamata: Cordylidae) from the Northern Cape Province, South Africa

W. R. Branch, M. J. Whiting

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A new species of Platysaurus is described from the Gordonia-Kenhardt district of Northern Cape Province, South Africa. Numerous features of scalation and colouration distinguish it from all other southern African Platysaurus. The new species is morphologically most similar to, and was previously confused with, P. capensis from northern Namaqualand, the Richtersveld and southern Namibia. There is no evidence for genetic exchange between the new species and P. capensis, which are separated by 100 km. Therefore, based on allopatry, the presence of two autapomorphies (dorsal forelimb scales subequal to those on hindlimb and unique male colouration), and significant differences in eight other scalation features, the Augrabies population meets the criteria for designation as a new species within an evolutionary species concept. These lizards occur in very high densities in the Augrabies Falls National Park where black flies (Simulium spp.) form a major food resource.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)124-136
Number of pages13
JournalAfrican Journal of Herpetology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'A new Platysaurus (Squamata: Cordylidae) from the Northern Cape Province, South Africa'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this