“On the morning of 30th April 2014, a male Flying Dragon (Draco sumatranus) was scrambling around a tree in Sarawak, Borneo (above).
“As the temperature climbed higher with the rising sun, so did its metabolic rate. Soon, it began to flash its yellow gular flap, prominently advertising its presence to any conspecifics in the neighbourhood (above).
“All that fancy flashing was followed by feeding, as the lizard parked itself in front of an ant trail to partake of its breakfast (above).
“A video clip of the male lizard snapping up ants may be previewed below.
“On the same afternoon, a female Flying Dragon of the same species arrived onto the scene, looking positively hungry (below). After locating the busy ant trail, it began to peck away at the ants selectively, one at a time. This reminded me of how we sometimes scrutinise a conveyor belt of sushi dishes at a Japanese restaurant chain and pick out the particular plates we like.
“A video clip of the female lizard feeding on ants may be previewed below.
“Most species of Flying Dragons (genus Draco) are known to have a diet that consists predominantly of ants (Das, 2010; Mori & Hikida, 1993; Ord & Klomp, 2014). However, it is not very often that we get a chance to watch them dining al fresco.”
Dr. Leong Tzi Ming
8th May 2014
1. Das, I., 2010. A Field Guide to the Reptiles of South-East Asia. New Holland Publishers (UK) Ltd., 376 pp.
2. Mori, A. & T. Hikida, 1993. Natural history observations of the flying lizard, Draco volans sumatranus (Agamidae, Squamata) from Sarawak, Malaysia. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology, 41(1): 83–94.
3. Ord, T. J. & D. A. Klomp, 2014. Habitat partitioning and morphological differentiation: the Southeast Asian Draco lizards and Caribbean Anolis lizards compared. Oecologia, DOI 10.1007/s00442-014-2921-y