Please Help Us Make the Sungazer the National Lizard of South Africa

Cordylus giganteus

South Africa has various national wildlife symbols:

National animal – the springbok (Antidorcas marsupialis)

National bird – the blue crane (Anthropoides paradisia)

National fish – the galjoen (Dichistius capensis)

National flower – the king protea (Protea cynaroides)

National tree – real yellowwood (Podocarpus latifolius)

Now, I would like to appeal to Anole Annals readers to help get the sungazer, Smaug giganteus (formerly Cordylus giganteus), formally recognized as South Africa’s national lizard by the Department of Arts and Culture. This would promote the conservation of this species, but by using it as an umbrella species, the conservation of their grassland habitats would also benefit various other organisms. It will only take a few minutes of your time. Just visit and sign the petition at: https://secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/Department_of_Arts_and_Culture_Make_Sungazers_South_Africas_national_lizard/.

The Swinhoe’s tree lizard (Japalura swinhonis) is a common endemic lizard species in Taiwan.

The Swinhoe’s tree lizard (Japalura swinhonis) is a common endemic lizard species in Taiwan.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could get a national lizard nominated for every country?

I nominate the Swinhoe’s tree lizard (Japalura swinhonis) for Taiwan.

Which anoles would you nominate for which countries?

5 thoughts on “Please Help Us Make the Sungazer the National Lizard of South Africa

  1. I’ll play! Here are some fairly easy picks:

    USA: Gila Monster (Heloderma suspectum)
    Mexico: Beaded Lizard (Heloderma horridum)
    Indonesia: Komodo Dragon (Varanus komodoensis)
    Australia: Thorny Devil (Moloch horridus), though Frilled Lizard (Chlamydosaurus kingii) would be a fine choice also
    Costa Rica: Plumed Basilisk (Basiliscus plumifrons)

  2. Excellent suggestions but I don’t know about Heloderma repping both the US and Mexico. For the US I’m tempted to nominate Crotaphytus, though I’m not sure which species. Or if you were to change Mexico… here’s a list of possibilities:

    Anolis alvarezdeltoroi
    Abronia (any of the endemics)
    Xenosaurus (any of the endemics)
    Anolis alvarezdeltoroi
    Ctenosaura defensor
    Laemanctus serratus
    Phrynosoma asio
    Sceloporus formosus
    Maybe Anolis alvarezdeltoroi?

  3. Zootoca vivipara, Lacerta agilis and Anguis fragilis are going to end up as the national lizards of an awful lot of countries…

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