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Identification help: Lizard

Senior Virtual Ranger
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2005 1:43 pm
Posts: 749
Location: Jo'burg
Mon Mar 19, 2007 10:14 am Unread post
I've always found identifying reptiles to be quite a challenge, mostly because I don't have any good field guides but also because I'm not always sure what features to look out for. I have been watching birds for some time but it seems that the same rules don't apply. Colour is hardly of use (ask the Chameleons :D ) and posture, habits, feeding pattern and vocalisation is as useless as a solar powered bicycle to a cave-living bat.

So would anyone have recommendations as to which field guide to get hold of that could teach me how to identify reptiles.

While we're at it, could anyone tell me how to seperate Lang's Crag Lizzard from Drakensberg Crag Lizzard?

Last post

Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 8:23 pm
Posts: 111
Location: Queenswood, Pretoria
Wed Mar 21, 2007 9:01 am Unread post
According to my field guide (Field guide to snakes and other reptiles of Southern Africa by Bill Branch), the Lang's crag lizard is quite similar to the Drakensberg crag lizard, but breeding male lack the yellow flanks. Both species may also live together in the same crack.

Not much to work on in the field!!!

I must agree that reptile identification is challenging and also very frustrating at times. I normally try to get a decent video clip of a reptile in order to ID it at home.

Honorary Virtual Ranger
Joined: Fri Jan 14, 2005 5:42 pm
Posts: 17943
Location: Red sand, why do I keep thinking of red sand?
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Thu Feb 07, 2008 3:01 pm Unread post
The following are recommended reference books on southern African reptiles, suitable for general use, and currently available at most book shops:

Branch W.R. 1998. Field guide to snakes and other reptiles of southern Africa. Struik, Cape Town.

Marais J. 2004. A complete guide to the snakes of southern Africa. Struik, Cape Town.

Jacobsen N. 2005. Remarkable reptiles of South Africa. Briza, Pretoria.

Boycott R.C. and Pourquin O. 2000. The Southern African Tortoise Book: a guide to southern African tortoises, terrapins and turtles. Published by O. Bourquin, Hilton, KwaZulu-Natal.

Tolley K. and Burger M. 2007. Chamaleons of Southern Africa. Struik, Cape Town.

Now if I had a few of those books I might be able to help....

Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2005 12:28 am
Posts: 14139
Location: Pretoria, RSA
Tue Feb 12, 2008 10:46 pm Unread post
There is a new book on the shelf:

A Guide to the Reptiles of Southern Africa.
Graham Alexander and Johan Marais
ISBN 978 1 77007 386 9

This is a must have! Easy layout, well illustrated. Pitty that it only has the English names of species.

ID Help - Lizard

Joined: Tue Apr 16, 2013 11:00 pm
Posts: 281
Location: Cape Town
Sat Dec 28, 2013 5:07 pm Unread post

Does anyone know what this beauty is called?

Seen in Tankwa Karoo this week.


Re: Identification help: Lizard

Joined: Tue Apr 16, 2013 11:00 pm
Posts: 281
Location: Cape Town
Mon Jan 20, 2014 9:11 pm Unread post
According to the experts its a Burchells Sand Lizard

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