Basic Information

Alternative Name: Black-bearded Gliding Lizard
Scientific Name: Draco melanopogon
Distribution: Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra, Southern Thailand, Borneo, other Indonesian Islands

About the Black-bearded Flying Lizard

These lizards live in rainforests and can be seen floating from tree to tree. They utilize their patagium in order to glide, which earned them the name of flying lizards. [2] The creature can glide for a substantial distance, about five lengths for each unit of descent (i.e. 5m per 1m descent or 5ft. per 1ft. descent). [1]

Small insects, such as ants and termites, comprise its diet. The female lizard lays only two eggs in each clutch. [2]

Physical Description

These lizards grow to about 24cm (9.45in.) from snout to tail, and their scales are green. [1] They have elongated ribs that can be spread to create a patagium that enables the animal to glide. Males have an elongated, black dewlap, or loose epidermal layer below the throat. [4] When this is fully extended, the dewlap projects in front of the head. [3]

Male black-bearded gliding lizards are smaller in body size than females, and they also tend to have smaller heads. [5] Females have larger patagium to match their size, and the under side of the patagium is more intensely colored than their male counter parts. [5]


  1. Wildlife Singapore: Black-bearded Flying Lizard: Draco melanopogon
  2. Black-bearded Gliding Lizard. Link Defunct: <>
  3. Bellairs 314
  4. Pianka 88
  5. Pianka 104

For more information on footnotes and references, please see the bibliography.