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







Orange-bearded Gliding Lizard

Fig 1

Fig 2

Fig 3

Fig 4


Family : Agamidae
Species : Draco fimbriatus
Size (snout to vent) : male 11 cm, female 13 cm
Size (total length) : male ~18 cm, female ~21 cm

The Orange-bearded Gliding Lizard is a large, cryptic species of Draco which occurs in tall, primary rainforest. Its mottled grey-green and brown dorsum is an effective camouflage on lichen-covered tree trunks.

It has a dark brown to black eye stripe on the side of the head : this is thin and discontinuous near the snout, but thickens behind the eye. The stripe merges with a thick, discontinuous, dark brown stripe along the ventral line which extends to the base of the tail.  Another shorter black stripe occurs below and parallel to the main eye stripe.

The male has a long, thick, triangular salmon-pink gular flag. The female also possesses a gular flag of similar colour, although it is much shorter.

Since March 2018, the preferred scientific name for this species is Draco fimbriatus: prior to that date its taxonomic (i.e scientific naming) history is confusing, and the reader may find this species referred to in other books and scientific papers as Draco abbreviatus. We follow Grismer & Quah (2019) who have adopted the conclusions of McGuire et al (2018) that Draco fimbriatus is the correct name.

The species is known to occur in southern Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra and Borneo. It appears to be absent from Singapore.

Fig 1 : Male with extended gular flag near the Kinta River (Gunung Korbu area), Perak, Peninsular Malaysia in an area of degraded primary forest.

Figs 2 and 3 : Two images of a fully-grown male at Gunung Pulai, Johor, Peninsular Malaysia.

Fig 4 : Another specimen from Gunung Pulai, searching for insects on a dying tree riddled with termites, as evidenced by the yellow termite trail.  To the right of the gliding lizard is a well camouflaged Frilly Gecko, with its head facing downwards.

References : H11

Grismer, L. L., & Quah, E. S. (2019). An updated and annotated checklist of the lizards of Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, and their adjacent archipelagos. Zootaxa, 4545(2), 230-248

McGuire, Jimmy A., Darko D. Cotoras, Brendan O辰onnell, Shobi ZS Lawalata, Cynthia Y. Wang-Claypool, Alexander Stubbs, Xiaoting Huang et al. (2018)  "Squeezing water from a stone: high-throughput sequencing from a 145-year old holotype resolves (barely) a cryptic species problem in flying lizards." PeerJ 6 (2018): e4470