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Spotted Gliding Lizard

Fig 1

Fig 2

Fig 3

Fig 4



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.

References : H11