Emperor flat lizard
(Endemic) SVL 100-120 mm; max SVL 146 mm male, 120 mm female.
A magnificent giant platy that is closely related to the common flat lizard, P.intermedius, but is immediatly distinguishable by its great size and striking coloration. The lower eyelids of this platy are opaque, and each is divided with a series of vertical septa. The supranasals are fused with the nasals. The middle row of gulars is not very enlarged. The scales on the sides of the neck are conical and enlarged and those on the flanks are no larger than those on the back. There are fewer than 98 transverse granules across the back. The ventrals are in 22-28 longitudinal rows. There are 17-24 femoral pores in males. Females and juvenils are black, with three light cream stripes (yellow on the head), the middle stripe being narrow and broken towards the rear. The tail is straw-coloured. The throat is white and the belly is largely black. Adult males have an ochre-yellow head, a crimson body with numerous large, pale spots anteriorly, that are ochre-yellow towards the rear and on the tail. The limbs are black. The throat is brick-red, with a broad black collar. The chest is reddish or yellowish, the belly is black, and the tail is orange to light yellow below. Biology and breeding : This platy is the largest in the genus. A large male and several attendant females usually command the tops of massive boulders on gneiss hills, and feed mainly on beetles, catepillars and ants. Clutches of two large eggs (27 x 12 mm) are laid in summer. It has lived for up to 14 years. Threatened by over collecting for the pet trade. Habitat : Mesic savannah. Range : NE Zimbabwe and adjacent Mozambique
Start page Platysaurus index