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Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless credited to others.
Copyright ゥ Ecology Asia 2024







Common Gliding Lizard

Fig 1

Fig 2

Fig 3






Family : Agamidae
Species : Draco volans
Size (snout to vent) : 9 cm
Size (total length) : 22 cm

The Common Gliding Lizard Draco volans is a sun-loving species which inhabits forest-edge habitats and dry, open, secondary forest.

It was once considered to range throughout Southeast Asia, but the name now only refers to populations from Java and Bali. The closely-related  Sumatran Gliding Lizard Draco sumatranus and Boschma's Gliding Lizard Draco boschmai, which occur in other parts of Southeast Asia and were once considered to be subspecies of Draco volans, are now considered as separate species in their own right (McGuire et al, 2001).

Males and females are both tan in colour, with sparse dark flecks on the back of the body and a dark spot on the nape. In males the upper surface of the gliding membrane, or patagium, is tan to orange and bears dark, radial bands. In females the patagium lacks these bands, but instead bears irregular dark markings.

In common with the Sumatran Gliding Lizard, males have a pointed yellow gular flag, whilst females have a small, mottled, bluish gular flag.

This common lizard feeds mainly on ants, and possibly termites.

This species is endemic to Indonesia, occurring on the islands of Java and Bali in the west of the country.

Figs 1 to 3 : Female specimen in secondary forest adjacent to the Petanu River, Bali, Indonesia. Note the small, blue gular flag beneath the throat, which identifies the specimen as female.

Reference :

McGuire, J. A., and Kiew, B. H., 2001. Phylogenetic systematics of Southeast Asian flying lizards (Iguania: Agamidae: Draco) as inferred from mitochondrial DNA sequence data. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 72: 203229.