A resident living around the Coronation Road area came across this strange creature in her garden. She sent an e-mail with images to E Anon stating that the “animal in the garden is about 12cm long, with a tail probably 25cm long. Any clue? Looks as though it can bite.”
The creature appears like a sort of lizard, probably a frilled flying lizard LINK.
The images were sent to wildlife consultant Subaraj Rajathurai who replied: “The lizard is confirmed to be a Common Flying Dragon (Draco sumatranus, formerly known as Draco volans). This is the only Draco not confined to the forest and can be found in parks and back-mangrove too. It is common and widespread here.”
According to Baker & Lim (2008), “…the male has a bluish head and a large yellow throat flap. The female has a small, blue mottled throat flap. Diurnal and arboreal, inhabiting trees at forest edges, in parks and gardens, even in the city. Feeds largely on ants and termites. Capable of gliding from tree to tree by extending the patagium at the sides of the body. Widespread and common in Singapore, including offshore islands.”
The lateral extension of the skin, known as patagium, helps it to glide from tree to tree. In this case, as it was confronted on the ground, its only defence was to extend its patagium to appear larger than what it was and gaped its mouth to appear fierce. Generally it does not attack people unless handled.
View the Common Flying Dragon displaying its patagium HERE.
E. Anon & Subaraj Rajathurai
6th March 2019
Baker, N. & K. Lim (eds.). 2008. Wild animals of Singapore: A photographic guide to mammals, reptiles, amphibians and freshwater fishes. Vertebrate Study Group, Nature Society (Singapore). 180 pp.