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Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless otherwise credited.
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Five-banded Gliding Lizard

Fig 1

Fig 2

Fig 3

Fig 4

Fig 5






Family : Agamidae
Species : Draco quinquefasciatus
Size (snout to vent) : 10.6 cm
Size (total length) : 27 cm

Draco quinquefasciatus (Five-banded Gliding Lizard) inhabits lowland primary or mature secondary forest in southern Thailand,  Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, Sumatra and Borneo. 

This slender, large or medium-sized gliding lizard is typically encountered clinging to larger tree trunks. Its diet comprises ants and termites.

It can be identified by the presence of five broad, dark bands across a greenish dorsum which extend onto a pinkish-orange-yellowish patagium (flight membrane). In the centre of each dark band there may be row of white spots. In some individuals, particularly some males, the banding on the dorsum may be relatively faint.

The gular flag of the male is long, sickle-shaped, and bright yellow in colour; when not extended the tip reaches beyond the insertion point of the forelimbs. The gular flag of the female appears to be less brightly coloured than that of the male, is shorter in length and is therefore more difficult to see in photographs or in the field.

Males possess a nuchal fold (i.e. a raised skin fold above the back of the neck).

This is a relatively uncommon species; solitary individuals are usually encountered.

Fig 1 : Example from Singapore's central forests, resting at eye level in an area of mature secondary forest. The absence of a nuchal fold suggests this is most likely a female.

Fig 2 : Male with gular flag extended; the barring across the dorsum of this example is very faint. Seen at Taman Negara, Pahang, Peninsular Malaysia.

Fig 3 : Male from Danum Valley, Sabah, Borneo with well developed nuchal fold.

Figs 4 and 5 : Male example with long gular flag and strongly barred patagium, found at the edge of a freshwater swamp forest in Singapore.

References : H1, H3

Baker, Nick. 2016. Five species of gliding lizard Draco spp. at Gunung Pulai, Johor, Peninsular Malaysia. Southeast Asia Vertebrate Records 2016: 110-112