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







Formosa Gliding Lizard

Fig 1

Fig 2

Fig 3

Fig 4


Family : Agamidae
Species : Draco formosus
Size (snout to vent) : up to 10 cm

The Formosa Gliding Lizard, or Red-edged Gliding Lizard, occurs in tall, primary rainforest. It has been observed close to the forest floor, as well as at great heights on the trunks of giant trees. 

The name 'formosus' means 'beautiful, well-shaped' in latin. Draco formosus was formerly considered closely allied to the  Dusky Gliding Lizard Draco obscurus, but is now considered a separate species. (By definition, Draco obscurus is now considered to be confined to Sumatra and Borneo.)

The species is of moderate size, and is best identified by the enlarged scales at the distal end of the gular flag of the male. The base of the gular flag and side lappets are red. The gular flag is somewhat smaller in females. The upper side of the patagium is dull yellowish-grey or olive-grey with irregular barring, and the edge is maroon-red. There is a raised ridge over the neck region.

The examples shown here range from Belum (northern Peninsular Malaysia) to Gunung Pulai, Johor (southern Peninsular Malaysia). The species also occurs in southern Thailand, but is absent from Singapore.

Fig 1 : Specimen from Gunung Pulai, Johor, Peninsular Malaysia, with lappets and patagium fully extended.

Fig 2 : Male with gular flags and lappets extended, from Johor, southern Peninsular Malaysia

Fig 3 : Male from South Belum Forest Reserve, northern Peninsular Malaysia. Note the enlarged scales at the end of the gular flag.

Fig 4 : Specimen from Gunung Pulai, Johor, southern Peninsular Malaysia.

References : H1, H3