Draco volans: The flying dragon lizard

draco volans

Draco Volans are real-life flying lizards from Southeast Asia, otherwise known as flying dragons or gliding lizards.

These mini-flying creatures have developed the ability to glide up to 26 feet, often from one tree to another, over thousands of years.

The body length of the flying dragon lizard is only about 8-9 centimeters, making it a relatively small lizard. However, its wingspan can reach up to 30 centimeters, which is an impressive feat for an animal of its size.

Draco Volans’ wings are made of its ribs, not true limbs

Draco Volans use skin flaps on their elongated ribs called patagia to open and retract on demand. This gives them the impression of small dragons with colorful wings.

But they don’t actually “fly” and breathe fire like the fingered-winged dragons in a science fiction movie. In fact, the rib expansion doesn’t even help the lizards’ breathing.

The modified ribs help the Draco Volans float off the high perches of trees and parachute to other branches to avoid predators. Their unique ability to soar through the air has allowed them to thrive in their jungle habitat and avoid predators.

This is quite a contrast from the Mwanza flat-headed rock agama aka Spider-Man agama. These lizards specialize in their rapid crawling talent.

Don’t get your hopes up about finding one of these Draco Volans as a pet because flying dragons are nearly impossible to catch, as are most lizards.

flying dragon lizard
draco volans
flying dragon lizard
flying dragon lizard

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.