Platysaurus is a genus of lizards, commonly known as flat lizards for their flat backs, in the family Cordylidae.

Platysaurus imperator
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Family: Cordylidae
Genus: Platysaurus
A. Smith, 1844

Geographic range

All species in the genus Platysaurus live in isolated populations in southern Africa. They are found in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, eastern Botswana, southern Namibia and northern and western South Africa.[1]


The species of Platysaurus exhibit sexual dimorphism. Females and juveniles often have black or brown backs with white stripes, while males are much more colored. Also, males are somewhat larger than females.


The described species are:[2]

See also


  1. Adolphs, Klaus (29 July 2015). "Platysaurus Smith, 1844". Retrieved 24 December 2018.
  2. Platysaurus. The Reptile Database.

Further reading

  • Boulenger GA (1885). Catalogue of the Lizards in the British Museum (Natural History). Second Edition. Volume II. ... Zonuridæ ... London: Trustees of the British Museum (Natural History). (Taylor and Francis, printers). xiii + 497 pp. + Plates I-XXIV. (Genus Platysaurus, p. 261).
  • Branch, Bill (2004). Field Guide to Snakes and other Reptiles of Southern Africa. Third Revised edition, Second impression. Sanibel Island, Florida: Ralph Curtis Books. 399 pp. ISBN 0-88359-042-5. (Genus Platysaurus, p. 198).
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