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Five-Banded Flying Lizard (2000)

Acrylic on illustration board
15" x 10"
 The twenty or so species known appropriately as flying lizards are disdributed throughout Southeast Asia and the Philippines. The five-banded flying lizard (Draco quinquefasciatus) ranges in wooded areas from Southern Thialand through Borneo and Sumatra, where it forages among the treetops for the ants and termites that make up the majority of its diet. Flying lizards have five or six false ribs which can be spread to stretch colorful patagia, or flying membranes, which enable the reptiles to glide for many yards with amazing dexterity. I've seen these lizards launch themselves from a tree, turn around, then return to the same trunk. In the background a white-crested hornbill (Berenicornis comatus) skulks through the secondary growth.