Lifescapes Gallery

18 / May / 2011
Crouching Lizard Flying Dragon
Draco, Coorg
Ganesh H. Shankar

Crouching Lizard Flying Dragon

Not all blockbusters play to packed audiences. Nor do all heroes crave the spotlight. One of Coorg’s leading action stars features in incredible action sequences that would otherwise be considered flights of fancy, but doesn’t stay around for the applause. Like all great performers, he blends into his roles-and very often his surroundings-with such good effect that fans hunting for him are liable to miss the woods for the trees. Just like in the image above. If you look hard, you may just about spot a dark shape embossed on the dappled bark. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the Incredible Draco, the Flying Star of Coorg! The Southern Flying Lizard, or Draco Dussumieri to friends and fans, sports a unique wing membrane between his limbs that he uses to glide from tree to tree. While he can insouciantly glide up to sixty metres just for kicks, there’s a lot more drama when he uses his flying skills to leave predators pawing at empty air and looking very foolish. This ‘Lizard Wizard’ is not just surreal, but arboreal, which means he spends most of his life above the ground, and rarely descends to be amongst us mere mortals. The only time he does condescend to come down is when that primal urge for immortality comes upon him, and he seeks to propagate his lineage. When he does spot a potential mate, he pays court by standing rigidly on his forelegs, bobbing his head in her direction, and vigorously vibrating his wing membrane to show they share good vibes. His body turns silver-grey and he slowly circles around her, occasionally touching her rump with his extended throat appendage. Invariably, this potent cocktail of power-courting techniques proves irresistible to her, thereby ensuring that the next generation of Flying Dragons is ready to glide off the production line.

We at Orange County have loved sharing this story with you, and shall bring you one every fortnight, as part of our Responsible Tourism Initiatives to raise awareness about the nature and culture of the environments we operate in.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, May 18th, 2011 at 11:28 am and is filed under Reptiles . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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User Comments
  1. Nirmal S Ruparel says:

    Amazing no words

  2. wendy desouza says:

    Keep up the good work……….. wonderfully worded text matter…………

  3. Anu Elisha says:

    Loved the title! And very informative write up too… 😉

  4. Dr Sameer R Rao says:

    Amazing camouflage & a great image as usual from Ganesh

  5. Vikram Nanjappa says:

    The Draco’s throat has a finger like appendage which in the male is thrice as long as in the female and extends beyond the snout when extended. The throat membrane is bright yellow orange, the wing membranes have bright colours and are an example of flash colouration, a protective devise designed to draw attention to the animal when colours are displayed in motion, but making the animal disappear into the background abruptly as soon as the movement ceases.This gliding lizard is an example of the Malayan element in the fauna of South India, all other species of the Draco genus occur in the Eastern Himalayas and further east.

  6. Sneha B says:

    nice one!!!

  7. Ramasubramanian says:

    If I say the photographs are fabulous I do not have better superlative for the narrative that accompanies every photograph. Facts interspersed with subtle humour makes it very interesting to read.


    Namaste Ganesh!
    Please send more and more beautiful pictures and news from Orange County. We love to hear from you. Thanks a lot.
    Hitendra/Jovita Jhaveri
    Puerto Rico, USA

  9. Raghupati Reddy Jangon says:

    good pic

  10. Ayesha Goswamy says:

    The lizard camouflages so well!
    keep it up!

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