Draco sumatranus, the common gliding lizard, is a species of agamid lizard endemic to Southeast Asia. It has elongated ribs and skin flaps on the sides of its body. When opened, these skin flaps allow it to glide between tree trunks.
Common gliding lizard
Male Draco sumatranus extending gular flap at Kent Ridge Park, Singapore
It is primarily a tree dweller, except that the females come down to the forest floor to lay eggs.
The body length is of about 9 cm (3.5 in), with a slightly longer tail. The body is of a dark grey/brown colouration with stripes and patterns to help it camouflage against the tree trunks. The males have a yellow triangular flap of skin under the chin, the gular fold, which is used to communicate with other lizards, mostly for mating. Females have a much smaller and blue flap.
They feed on small insects. Usually ants and termites.
Scientific classification :
Draco viridis var. sumatranaSchlegel, 1844
Draco volans sumatranus— Musters, 1983
Draco sumatranus— McGuire & Heang, 2001
They are relatively common in forests and in urban settings such as parks and gardens.
Geographic range :
They are found in Southeast Asia: Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Palawan.
It was formerly considered a sub-species of Draco volans.
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Common Gliding Lizard (Draco sumatranus)
Sumatran Gliding Lizard:
Family : Agamidae
Species : Draco sumatranus
Size (snout to vent) : 9 cm
Size (total length) : 22 cm
The Sumatran Gliding Lizard Draco sumatranus is generally encountered in disturbed or man-made habitats such as parks and gardens or wayside trees, where abundant sunlight is the norm. It is rarely found in the shade of primary or mature secondary forests, preferring to keep to the forest edge.
Its dorsal surface is symmetrically mottled with light brown and dark brown, and the patagium is black with brown mottling.
The triangular gular flag of the male is mainly bright yellow, but at the base is pale yellow to white and mottled with dark flecks. The forehead and crown of the male is often turquoise to bluish. The female possesses a small, mottled blue gular flag.
The species has been observed to feed mainly on small ants.
It was once considered a subspecies of Draco volans (i.e. D. volans sumatranus) but was recently elevated to species status.
The Sumatran Gliding Lizard ranges from southern Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore to Sumatra and Borneo (including the adjacent Philippine island of Palawan).
Figs 1 to 3 : Three views of an adult male Sumatran Gliding Lizard seen simultaneously displaying its bright yellow gular flag and patagium while feeding on tiny ants, Singapore.
Fig 4 : Female with small, mottled, bluish gular flag, Singapore.
Fig 5 : Male with blue head and relaxed gular flag. Seen at Gunung Arong, Johor, Peninsular Malaysia.
Other Websites :
Draco sumatranus female display (16Sep2014)
Draco sumatranus ~ male (03May2016)
Draco sumatranus female (30Apr2014)
Draco sumatranus male (30Apr2014)
Nicole show off the Draco Flying Lizards!
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Gliding Lizards - Introduction