Transvaal grass lizard

The Transvaal grass lizard, also known as the coppery grass lizard and Transvaal snake lizard (Chamaesaura aenea)[3] is a species of lizard in the genus Chamaesaura. It is found in southern African grasslands and on slopes.[4] The Transvaal grass lizard is ovoviparous.[5] The scientific name refers to its copper colour.

Transvaal grass lizard
Coppery Grass Lizard 2013 10 25 2375.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Family: Cordylidae
Genus: Chamaesaura
C. aenea
Binomial name
Chamaesaura aenea

It was first described in 1843 by Fitzinger (who named it Cricochalcis aenea), based on specimens at the Natural History Museum in Berlin that were collected in South Africa by Ludwig Krebs.[6]


On a rock in a Drakensberg stream

The Transvaal grass lizard inhabits South Africa, Lesotho, and Swaziland.[2] It can be found in grasslands and on slopes and ridges.[4]

Habits and breedingEdit

This lizard is ovoviviparous, meaning mothers carry eggs inside their bodies until they are ready to hatch.[5]


Neither the Southern African Red Data nor the International Red Data list the Transvaal grass lizard. However, the Swaziland Red Data puts the lizard at Near Threatened levels.[4]


The scientific name of this lizard, Chamaesaura aenea, is due to the lizard's copper color. Aenea is a Latin word meaning "bronze" or "copper."[5]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Bates, M.F.; Tolley, K.A. (2018). "Chamaesaura aenea". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2018: e.T110158816A115673490. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2018-2.RLTS.T110158816A115673490.en. Retrieved 18 November 2021.
  2. ^ a b "Chamaesaura aenea". UNEP-WCMC Species Database. Retrieved 2007-12-30.
  3. ^ "Chamaesaura aenea names". UNEP-WCMC Species Database. Retrieved 2007-12-30.
  4. ^ a b c "Reptiles Checklist". Swaziland National Trust Commission. Retrieved 2007-12-30.
  5. ^ a b c "Chamaesaura aenea FITZINGER, 1843". The Reptile Database. Retrieved 2007-12-30.
  6. ^ Aaron M. Bauer, "Early German Herpetological Observations and Explorations of Southern Africa, with special reference to the Zoological Museum of Berlin", Bonn Zoological Bulletin, Volume 52, No. 3/4, November 30, 2004, p 205.