Chondrodactylus angulifer 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Gekkonidae

Scientific Name: Chondrodactylus angulifer Peters, 1870
Common Name(s):
English Common Giant Ground Gecko, Giant Ground Gecko
Chondrodactylus weiri Boulenger, 1887
Taxonomic Notes: This is the sole member of its genus.

This species has two sub-species:
C. angulifer angulifer Peters, 1870
C. angulifer namibensis Haacke, 1976.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2009-06-30
Assessor(s): Goldberg, S.R.
Reviewer(s): Böhm, M., Collen, B. & Ram, M. (Sampled Red List Index Coordinating Team)
Contributor(s): De Silva, R., Milligan, H.T., Wearn, O.R., Wren, S., Zamin, T., Sears, J., Wilson, P., Lewis, S., Lintott, P. & Powney, G.
Chronodrodactylus angulifer has been assessed as Least Concern due to is wide range through western and southern Namibia and western South Africa. Although this species may be impacted by climate change in the future, at present it is unlikely that it is being impacted by any major threat process. Further research is needed on the taxonomy of this species, as this may affect future conservation assessments.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is found in the Namib desert and karroid regions of the Cape (Branch 1998). This includes the western coast of Namibia, through southern Namibia and much of western South Africa.

C. a. angulifer occurs in the karroid areas of the Cape and southern Namibia, whilst C. a. namibensis ranges north and west of this in the Namib desert, from Lüderitz Bay to western Kaokoveld (Branch 1998).
Countries occurrence:
Botswana; Namibia; South Africa
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:There is no population information available for this species.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species inhabits gravel plains, inter-dune spaces and sandy flats (Branch 1998). In the Cape, it inhabits karroid vegetation, which typically has a very sparse covering of grasses and shrubs. This species may particularly be found in dry ravines, and even in old human habitation. It is reported that this species occupies a burrow by night, and forages by day (Loveridge 1947).

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is increasingly involved in the pet trade, however, it is bred in captivity (S. Goldberg pers. comm.).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species was included in an analysis of the effect of climate change on the fauna of South Africa, using climate envelope modelling (Erasmus et al. 2002). Reptiles were predicted to experience the largest range shifts, and the dry, western portion of the country, where this species occurs, was predicted to become wetter and suffer the most local extinctions across the country. An extension of this analysis (Van Jaarsveld et al. 2005) indicated that this species would be amongst the worst affected reptiles, with a predicted range change of greater than 50%.

This species is also becoming a popular pet, however, it is bred in captivity (S. Goldberg pers. comm.).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: In an assessment of the conservation status of Namibian reptiles (Griffin 2003), this species was reported as 'Secure-SP (taxonomy)'. This assessment indicates that revisions to the taxonomy of this species could alter its conservation status. Approximately 40% of the nominate taxon's range was reported to be in Namibia, and all of C. a. namibensis. Further research on the taxonomy of this species is needed.

Classifications [top]

3. Shrubland -> 3.5. Shrubland - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
8. Desert -> 8.1. Desert - Hot

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
11. Climate change & severe weather -> 11.5. Other impacts
♦ timing:Future ♦ scope:Unknown ♦ severity:Unknown ⇒ Impact score:Unknown 
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

1. Research -> 1.1. Taxonomy

Bibliography [top]

Branch, W.R. 1998. Field Guide to Snakes and other Reptiles of Southern Africa. Third Edition. Struik Publishers, Cape Town.

Erasmus, B.F.N., van Jaarsveld, A.S., Chown, S.L., Kshatriya, M. and Wessels, K.J. 2002. Vulnerability of South African animal taxa to climate change. Global Change Biology 8: 679-693.

Goldberg, S.R. 2006. Reproductive cycle of the Namib giant ground gecko, Chondroactylus angulifer (Squamata: Gekkonidae). African Zoology 41: 308-311.

Goldberg, S.R. 2008. pers. comm. Red List Assessment.

Griffin, M. 2003. Annotated Checklist and Provisional National Conservation Status of Namibian Reptiles. Namibia Wissenschlaftliche Gesellschaft (NWG), Windhoek.

IUCN. 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2010.4). Available at: (Accessed: 27 October 2010).

Loveridge, A. 1947. Revision of the African lizards of the family Gekkonidae. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard College 98(1): 1-469.

Van Jaarsveld, A.S., Chown, S.L., Erasmus, B.F.N., Kshatriya, M. and Wessels, K.J. 2005. Vulnerability and Adaptation Assessment of South African Animal Taxa to Climate Change. University of Pretoria, Biodiversity Monitoring & Assessment Program.

Citation: Goldberg, S.R. 2010. Chondrodactylus angulifer. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T178743A7607128. . Downloaded on 20 June 2018.
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