The flying dragonfly or flying lizard, belonging to the family Agamidae, is one of the rarest species of reptiles that inhabit the earth.
It has interesting characteristics that any other animal would envy, for example, the way it lives moving among the trees folding its wings.
What does the Flying Dragon look like?
When we hear about the flying dragon, our imagination may go wild, but to our surprise, these curious and wonderful animals are lizards that can reach a maximum length of 20 to 25 cm.
These rare animals receive this name because they have folding membranes (patagias) attached to their mobile ribs, which allow them to “fly” from one tree to another.
But what they do is actually glide short distances. But in some cases, glides of up to 60 meters have been recorded.
A very difficult characteristic to overlook in this animal is the coloration of its rare figure, which is totally brown, except for its characteristic yellow color in the dewlap of the males and gray in the females.
In addition, it has blue, orange and red spots on its membranes, colors that favor it and allow it to camouflage among the trees.
If you look closely you will notice that its body is thin, elongated and flattened.
Males are very territorial if they are threatened, and use their condition to corral intruders in the trees you have proclaimed your property.
But when they don’t feel threatened, flying dragons are very social animals.
By the way, these rare reptiles have a wide territory: 3 trees where they live together with 1 or 3 females
This species is always active, usually seen sliding through the bushes as the day goes by.
The average life span is about 6 years.
Where do the Flying Dragons live?
This rare reptile is a totally arboreal species, so it is very rare to be seen on the ground as it dodges all manner of descents.
Its ideal habitat is in tropical forest areas, where there are a large number of trees that allow it to develop its skills.
The flying dragon or flying lizard is geographically distributed in Southern India, Southeast Asia, the forest areas of the Philippines and Borneo, areas where this rare and unique gliding species is abundant.
Feeding of the Flying Dragon
The flying dragon is an insectivorous animal, so its diet is based on ants, termites and possibly other small insects.
Since the discovery of this valuable species, it has been closely investigated how they carry out their feeding, revealing that in some cases they ingest exclusively ants during their entire lives.
These animals have a very peculiar way of getting their food. Unlike any other animal that would go in search of its victim, it waits for the food to come to it.
It sits patiently and waits for a line of ants or termites to arrive that can satisfy its need for food.
When this moment arrives and any of these insects are nearby, this reptile will capture them and then chew them up with ease
Reproduction of the Flying Dragon
The only time these animals come down from the trees is when it’s time to breed.
The male flying dragon uses its folding membranes to attract the attention of the female and thus initiate the courtship process.
Once they have mated, the female comes down from the trees and with her snout makes a small hole in the ground where she deposits about 4 to 5 eggs. She then covers them with soil and leaf litter.
It is very important to know that the mother is only close to her eggs for a short time, to ensure that no predators approach and harm them.
After 24 hours, she abandons the surveillance of the nest and returns to the heights.
Incubation of the eggs takes approximately 32 days, until hatching occurs and small, beautiful babies hatch from the shell.
The predators of the Flying Dragon
Among the most common predators for the flying dragon are: eagles, owls, cats and domestic dogs, snakes and others.
However, when these rare reptiles feel threatened, they take advantage of their pigmentation in order to camouflage themselves among the large trees, avoiding being detected by some of their predators, and thus free themselves from being their next victim.