This is the only one of this species found here. It is larger and more spiny than any of the other Girdled Lizards.
Juveniles have a distinctive coloration with bars and blotches of yellow to orange, interspersed with blackish brown on the body and black and yellow bands with orange spots on the tail.
They get their common name from their characteristic posture of basking with their head and foreparts raised as if gazing at the sun.
They feed mostly on beetles, millipedes, bugs, ants, grasshoppers and butterflies but will occasionally eat small rodents. Sungazers feed for about 8 months out of a year and in the winter remain dormant underground in burrows which they excavate themselves.
They produce 1-2 live young in the late summer probably only every second year.