Flying Lemur aka Malayan Colugo in action

on 23rd October 2018
Kodachrome image of Colugo gliding at the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve in ?1990 by YC Wee.

Jia-Wei Woo’s video clip of a pair of Malayan Colugo (Cynocephalus variegates), also known as Flying Lemur, was documented at the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve (below). It was late evening and the documentation was made just before the last rays of light disappeared at 1850 hours. As Jia-Wei recounted: “Lighting was thus suboptimal during filming. I had to film at a shutter of 1/80 to reduce motion blur doing handheld to allow easier tracking of the motion. I also used a video editor to brighten the video after capture.”

Colugo lives in tall trees, seldom descending to the ground. In fact it is a clumsy animal when on the ground as its pair of hind limbs are weak and unable to hold it up. It moves up trees using the sharp claws of its forelimbs to cling on to the tree trunk, then lurching forward, followed by the pair of hind limbs moving up. Once high enough on the tree trunk, it plunges forward into the air. It glides with the help of the pair of large skin membranes that extend from the body to the limbs. Once it lands on the next tree, it scrambles up the trunk until high enough to glide to another tree. The video footage documented three such glidings.

Jia-Wei Woo
12th October 2018

Lim, Norman, 2007. Colugo: The flying lemur of South-east Asia. Draco Publishing & Distribution Pte Ltd and National University of Singapore. 80 pp.

This post is a cooperative effort between Birds, Insects N Creatures Of Asia and BESG to bring the study of birds and their behaviour through photography and videography to a wider audience.

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

Other posts by YC Wee

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