Smaug (Cordylus) giganteus

Giant Girdled Lizard

Smaug (Cordylus) giganteus
Vulnerable (IUCN)

Basic info

Common names
  • Sungazer
  • Giant Girdled Lizard
Species nameSmaug (Cordylus) giganteus

Further Reading

Temperatures & Season

Day time temperatures

Background summer20 - 30 °F
Background winter10 - 15 °F
Basking spot35 °F

Night time temperatures

Background summer15 - 20 °F
Background winter5 - 10 °F


Winter treatmentbrumation
Photoperiod summer14 hours
Photoperiod winter10 hours


Microhabitats are specific small habitats that an organism inhabits within its broader environment. These can vary greatly depending on the species and can give us insights into the preferred living conditions of each reptile. Understanding these microhabitats can be key to providing the correct care for these animals in captivity.

  • Forest floor
    Forest floor
  • Grassland or savanna
    Grassland or savanna

Ferguson Zones

Ferguson Zones are a way to classify the amount of UV light that reptiles are exposed to in their natural habitats. These zones help us understand and replicate their natural light conditions in captivity, promoting the health and wellbeing of the reptiles. Below, we detail the specific Ferguson Zones of the Chinese Water Dragon, along with recommendations for replicating these conditions

The Ferguson Zone in which the Giant Girdled Lizard has been placed has been chosen based upon an assessment of its typical basking behaviour and likely microhabitat in the wild.

'Mid-day' open sun baskers
UVI range avarage: 2.6-3.5, UVI max recorded: 4.5-9.5

Recommended lighting methods in captivity

Sunbeam method

This method uses the 'Max UVI Recorded' value as a guide for the upper limit of the UVB gradient in captivity. This maximum should be the highest level which a Giant Girdled Lizard can obtain at its closest approach to its UVB lamp. The highlighted area in the table below represents this range for the Giant Girdled Lizard.


More in-depth information about Ferguson zones can be found here: https://jzar.org/jzar/article/view/150


These are the biomes the Giant Girdled Lizard was found in. Click here to learn more about terrestrial ecoregions and biomes.

  • Mo
    Montane Grasslands and Shrublands

    Click here for more information

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  1. Baines, F.M., Chattell, J., Dale, J., Garrick, D., Gill, I., Goetz, M., Skelton, T. and Swatman, M. 2016. How much UVB does my reptile need? The UV-Tool, a guide to the selection of UV lighting for reptiles and amphibians in captivity. Journal of Zoo and Aquarium Research. 4, 1 (Jan. 2016), 42–63. DOI:https://doi.org/10.19227/jzar.v4i1.150.
  2. iNaturalist. Available from https://www.inaturalist.org
This website is created by Jefrim Keijzer | All species