oa African Zoology - Taxonomic status and distribution of the South African lizard Tetradactylus breyeri Roux (Gerrhosauridae)

Volume 31, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 1562-7020
  • E-ISSN: 2224-073X



The taxonomic status of the poorly known South African gerrhosaurid Tetradactylus breyeri, descriptionbed by Roux in 1907 on the basis of a single specimen from the Transvaal, was investigated. The holotype and 14 other preserved specimens were examined and are descriptionbed in detail. Prior to this study, only six specimens had been descriptionbed in the literature. No evidence was found to warrant subspecific status for lizards from any part of the species' range, despite the apparently isolated nature of populations. and T. breyeri is thus considered monotypic. The species occurs as three apparently isolated montane grassland to highveld grassland populations in the South African provinces of Mpumalanga, north-eastern Free State and KwaZulu-Natal. Despite recent surveys, very few specimens have been found, and the 'rare' status afforded the species in the South African Red Data Book should be retained.

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