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







Robinson's Forest Dragon

Family : Agamidae
Species : Malayodracon robinsonii
Size (snout to vent) : males up to 15.8 cm, females up to 13.2 cm
Size (total length) : up to ~45 cm

Malayodracon robinsonii (Robinson's Forest Dragon, Robinson's Anglehead Lizard) is an upland and montane species, endemic to Peninsular Malaysia. Confirmed locations include Cameron Highlands, Genting Highlands and Gunung Tahan, all within the state of  Pahang (Grismer, 2011).

This is a diurnal and fully arboreal lizard typically encountered on low vegetation or low on the trunks of large trees. At night it is known to rest on tree ferns and saplings up to 9 metres from the ground.

The species was formerly included under the genus Gonocephalus, but a unique genus, namely Malayodracon, was erected by Denzer at al (2015) who particularly highlighted cranial and genetic differences in their publication. Clearly the elongated shape of this lizard's skull appears different to the typically shorter skulls of most Gonocephalus lizards. 

Its body is elongate, and somewhat laterally compressed, and its tail more than twice it snout-vent length.

Typical colouration comprises a greenish body and tail, with darker limbs. Labial scales above and below the mouth are typically white, and the eye patch is dark. A gular sac (dewlap) is present which is typically reddish-brown and somewhat darker in males. A black shoulder patch is typically present. Hatchlings may have oblique brownish banding on the flanks. 

The example show here, from Cameron Highlands, appears to be an adult male based on its markedly reddish-brown chin, throat and shoulders. 

Figs 1 to 3 : Adult, probably male, from Cameron Highlands, Pahang, Peninsular Malaysia. This lizard was found clinging to a slender branch amidst a tangle of vegetation. Photos thanks to Amar-Singh HSS.

References :

Grismer, L.L., (2011). Lizards of Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore and their Adjacent Archipelagos. Edition Chimaira. 728 pp.

Wolfgang Denzer, Ulrich Manthey, Kristin Mahlow & Wolfgang Bohme (2015). The systematic status of Gonocephalus robinsonii Boulenger, 1908 (Squamata: Agamidae: Draconinae). Zootaxa, 4039(1), 129-144.


Fig 1
ゥ Amar-Singh HSS
Fig 2
ゥ Amar-Singh HSS
Fig 3

ゥ Amar-Singh HSS