Draco maculatus :
Preserved museum specimen
Draco maculatus, commonly known as the spotted flying dragon, is a species of agamid flying lizard endemic to Southeast Asia. It is capable of gliding from tree to tree.
-Dracunculus maculatus Gray, 1845
-Draco maculatus — Cantor, 1847
-Draco haasei Boettger, 1893
-Draco maculatus — Boulenger, 1885
Head small; snout a little longer than the diameter of the orbit; nostril lateral, directed outwards; tympanum scaly. Upper head-scales unequal, strongly keeled; a compressed prominent scale on the posterior part of the superciliary region; 7 to 11 upper labials. The male's gular appendage very large, always much longer than the head, and frequently twice as long; female also with a well-developed but smaller gular sac. Male with a very small nuchal crest. Dorsal scales but little larger than the ventrals, irregular, smooth or very feebly keeled; on each side of the back a series of large trihedral keeled distant scales. The fore limb stretched forwards reaches beyond the tip of the snout; the adpressed hind limb reaches a little beyond the elbow of the adpressed fore limb, or to the axilla. Greyish above, with more or less distinct darker markings; a more or less distinct darker interorbital spot; wing-membranes above with numerous small round black spots, which are seldom confluent, beneath immaculate or with a few black spots; a blue spot on each side of the base of the gular appendage.
The following four subspecies (or races) are recognized, including the nominotypical subspecies:
Draco maculatus divergens Taylor, 1934: NW Thailand; type locality = "Chiang Mai, N Siam"; restricted to "Doi Suthep Mountain" by Taylor, 1963.
Draco maculatus haasei Boettger, 1893: E Thailand, Cambodia, S Vietnam; type locality = "Chantaboon, Siam".
Draco maculatus maculatus (Gray, 1845)
Draco maculatus whiteheadi Boulenger, 1900: N Vietnam, Hainan; type locality = "Five-finger Mountains, interior of Hainan".
From snout to vent length, 82 mm (3.2 in); tail, 115 millimetres (4.5 in).
Geographic range :
From Assam and Yunnan to Singapore.
Southern China (Hainan, Guangxi, Yunnan, Tibet), India (E. Himalayas to Assam), Bangladesh (Satchari National Park, Sylhet), Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, Thailand and W. Malaysia.
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Spotted Gliding Lizard :
Family : Agamidae
Species : Draco maculatus
Size (snout to vent) : males 8.7 cm, females 8 cm
Size (total length) : approx 22 cm
In parts of southern Thailand and northern Peninsular Malaysia this species is common to locally abundant in open habitats such as sparse secondary forest, wayside trees, and rubber and coconut plantations. In its undisturbed native habitat it probably preferred forest edge locations with high levels of sunshine, and it can consequently adapt to disturbed conditions. It feeds mainly on ants.
The ground colour of this species can vary from pale grey to brownish, and closely matches the colour shade of the tree trunk on which it is active.
The species can be identified by the yellow gular flag of both males and females, which is rounded at the tip : in some populations there is a blue spot at the base. The patagium is reddish- orange and is adorned with black blotches, particularly at the leading edge.
Outside of the region, the Spotted Gliding Lizard reportedly occurs in parts of northern India, Bangladesh and southern China. Within Southeast Asia it occurs in Burma, Thailand, Indochina (Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam) and the extreme north of Peninsular Malaysia (including the islands of Langkawi and Penang).
Despite historical records of the species in Singapore, it is most unlikely the species ever occurred there : it is possible there was once some confusion with the Sumatran Gliding Lizard Draco sumatranus, which is common in Singapore in disturbed habitats and with which it bears some superficial similarity, such as a yellow gular flag.
Fig 1 : Specimen from Langkawi, northern Peninsular Malaysia, displaying its gular flag. Note the pale blue marking at the base of the gular flag, which is present in some populations. This appears to be a male, as the gular flag is long.
Fig 2 : A moulting specimen from Krabi, southern Thailand, with remnants of its old skink still adhering to its patagium. It is sunning itself on a tall coconut palm.
Fig 3 : Active on a sun-warmed tree trunk in open, secondary forest at Langkawi, Peninsular Malaysia. This may be a female, as the gular flag appears to be shorter than usual.
Fig 4 : A pair of males in dispute, both displaying their gular flags. Seen at Langkawi, Peninsular Malaysia.
Other websites :
清邁 斑飛蜥 (2)
กิ้งก่าบินปีกส้ม (Orange-winged Flying Lizard)
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Gliding Lizards - Introduction