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Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless otherwise credited.
Copyright ゥ Ecology Asia 2021

 
 
     
   
   

 

   
   
 
Blanford's Gliding Lizard
   
   

Fig 1
  


Fig 2
  

Fig 3


Fig 4


Fig 5

 

 

Family : Agamidae
Species : Draco blanfordii
Size (snout to vent) : 13 cm
Size (total length) : 38 cm

The Draco genus comprises the 'flying dragons', more properly called Gliding Lizards. They are able to glide because on each side of the body there is a wide flap of skin (the patagium) supported by movable elongated ribs. Males of the genus have a large throat fan or gular flag, which is extended as a territorial display or during courtship. Females sometimes possess small gular flags.

Blanford's Gliding Lizard is one of the largest of its type - the male reaches 13 cm (snout-to-vent) and the female 11 cm.

Males are identified by olive-grey mottling on the back and patagium, and females by transverse banding. The gular flag of the male is long and light grey, and under the lappets (at the side of the head) is a red and black patch. The gular flag of the female is similar in colouration, but is much shorter.

This species inhabits lowland rainforest up to around 1200 metres elevation. It ranges from southwestern China through Vietnam and Thailand to Peninsular Malaysia. It is absent in Singapore.


Figs 1 and 2 : Two male specimens from Fraser's Hill, Peninsular Malaysia at an elevation of around 1000 metres.

Fig 3 : Male from Gunung Mat Cincang, Langkawi, Peninsular Malaysia, at an elevation of around 150 metres.

Figs 4 to 5 : Three images of a specimen from Burau Bay, Langkawi, Peninsular Malaysia at an elevation of just 50 metres.


References : H1, H3