Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Common Gliding Lizard (Draco sumatranus)

Adult female Common Gliding Lizard (Draco sumatranus) at Genting Highlands, Malaysia - July 2016

Local Name (Malay): unknown 
Weight: ?
Length: 22cm
NO UK STATUS IUCN Red List: Not Yet Evaluated 

While I've had trouble pinning down much specific information for this species, there is no doubt that for someone new to South East Asia, seeing any member of it's family is a novel experience indeed.  The flying lizards are a number of small ant and termite eating lizards that dwell in trees but the real fascinating features are the "wings" - a specially adapted set of ribs with a membrane stretched between that allows these tiny animals to glide long distances between trees.  My first encounter with one was entirely unexpected, and I only caught it out the corner of my eyes - a small coloured disc glided smmothly down and caught the edge of a tree just below me and when I looked I realised it was one of these lizards.

Related Species:
Order: Squamata
Family: Agamidae
GENUS: Draco

 - Sighting Locations -
MALAYSIA - A widespread but local resident.
 - MALAYSIA/SINGAPORE 2016 TRIP: Several seen at Genting Highlands

Further Notes: RSPB, Wikipedia, BirdGuides, BirdForum Opus, Arkive, IUCN Red List

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