Draco volans

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Draco volans
Flying lizard (Draco volans) male.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Iguania
Family: Agamidae
Genus: Draco
D. volans
Binomial name
Draco volans

Draco volans, the common flying dragon, is a species of lizard endemic to Southeast Asia.[1] Like other members of genus Draco, this species has the ability to glide using winglike lateral extensions of skin called patagia.[2]


Draco volans 01.JPG

This lizard grows up to 22 centimeters in length, including the tail. The body is tan in color with dark flecks. The patagium of the male is tan to bright orange with dark banding. The female's patagium has irregular markings rather than banding.[3]

This species is diurnal, and are "commonly seen running along branches, displaying, and gliding". In addition, the species is exclusively arboreal.[4]

This species feeds mainly on ants, and possibly other insects.[3] A study was conducted in Eastern Mindanao, Philippines, which found that the species exclusively feeds on ants.[4]


This species is commonly found in early second growth forests in open secondary forest and on forest edges.[4]

This species can be found in tropical rainforests in Southern India and Southeast Asia.[5]


The wings of Draco volans are supported by its ribs, which form the skeleton of its wings. However, its elongated ribs are superadded to aid forming its wings, and not to assisting respiration.[6]

This species is considered a passive glider, or parachutist.[7] However, previous studies have also shown that it can be considered a gliding animal.[8] This means that it doesn't have to deal with the aerodynamic and metabolic imperatives required for active flight.[9]


The female common flying dragon digs a hole in the soil to serve as a nest, and lays eggs in it.[2]


  1. ^ Draco volans. The Reptile Database.
  2. ^ a b Crew, B. Flying dragon lizard a true gliding reptile. Australian Geographic. 29 May 2014.
  3. ^ a b Draco volans. EcologyAsia.
  4. ^ a b c Smith, Brian E. (December 1993). "Notes on a Collection of Squamate Reptiles from Eastern Mindanao, Philippine Islands Part 1: Lacertilia" (PDF). Asiatic Herpetological Research. 5: 85–95.
  5. ^ Van Arsdale, Michael (1999). "Draco volans". Animal Diversity Web.
  6. ^ Home, Everard (1812). "Observations Intended to Show That the Progressive Motion of Snakes is Partly Performed by means of the Ribs". Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. 102: 163–168. JSTOR 107313.
  7. ^ Maina, John N. (July 11, 2006). "Development, structure, and function of a novel respiratory organ, the lung-air sac system of birds: to go where no other vertebrate has gone". Cambridge Philosophical Society. 81 (4): 545–579. doi:10.1111/j.1469-185X.2006.tb00218.x.
  8. ^ Colbert, Edwin H. (March 10, 1967). "Adaptations for Gliding in the Lizard Draco" (PDF). American Museum Novitates. 2283: 1–20.
  9. ^ Maina, John N. (July 3, 2015). "The design of the avian respiratory system: development, morphology and function". Journal of Ornithology. 156: 41–63. doi:10.1007/s10336-015-1263-9.