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Distribution of the Flying Lizard Genus Draco Linnaeus, 1758 (Squamata: Agamidae) of the Reference Collection of the Natural History Museum, National Science Museum, Thailand

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The study of distribution of fying lizard genus Draco in Thailand based on data in the Reference Collection of the Natural History Museum, National Science Museum, Thailand (THNHM) concluded that there are nine species of fying lizard in the museum collection and the distribution of fying lizard in Thailand was the most common in the south, east, west, center, north and northeast, respectively. However, this information was not suffcient to cover the total number of fying lizard species distributed in Thailand. This information indicates that the herpetological collection of the Natural History Museum, National Science Museum, Thailand is still incomplete, and that fying lizard distribution and diversity is probably much richer than demonstrated. New distribution records were discovered of Draco blanfordii in the central and eastern regions, which were of Draco fmbriatus in the east and Draco melanopogon in the north, northeast, and west. The results of this report made it possible to estimate the distribution of each species of fying lizard in Thailand. Further surveys and distribution studies can be used in the management of protected animal conservation areas under the law of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Thailand.
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The Thailand Natural History Museum Journal 15(1), 65-72, 30 June 2021
©2021 by National Science Museum, Thailand
http:doi.org.10.14456/thnhmj.2021.6
Distribution of the Flying Lizard Genus Draco Linnaeus, 1758 (Squamata:
Agamidae) of the Reference Collection of the Natural History Museum, National
Science Museum, Thailand
Warisa Nampochai¹,*, Peerasit Rongchapho¹, Sunchai Makchai² and Michael Cota²
¹Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Khon Kaen University, Mueang, Khon Kaen 40002, Thailand
² Natural History Museum, National Science Museum, Thailand, Technopolis, Khlong 5, Khlong Luang, Pathum Thani,
12120, Thailand
*Corresponding Author: warisa_n@kkumail.com
ABSTRACT
The study of distribution of ying lizard genus Draco in Thailand based on data in the Reference Collection
of the Natural History Museum, National Science Museum, Thailand (THNHM) concluded that there are nine
species of ying lizard in the museum collection and the distribution of ying lizard in Thailand was the most
common in the south, east, west, center, north and northeast, respectively. However, this information was not
sufcient to cover the total number of ying lizard species distributed in Thailand. This information indicates
that the herpetological collection of the Natural History Museum, National Science Museum, Thailand is still
incomplete, and that ying lizard distribution and diversity is probably much richer than demonstrated. New
distribution records were discovered of Draco blanfordii in the central and eastern regions, which were of
Draco mbriatus in the east and Draco melanopogon in the north, northeast, and west. The results of this report
made it possible to estimate the distribution of each species of ying lizard in Thailand. Further surveys and
distribution studies can be used in the management of protected animal conservation areas under the law of the
Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Thailand.
Keywords: Draco, Distribution, Thailand Natural History Museum
INTRODUCTION
The ying lizard genus Draco (family Agamidae) is
distributed from Southwest India through Southeast
Asia, including the Malay Peninsula, the Philippines, and
Thailand (Taylor, 1963; Honda et al., 1999; Nabhitabhata
et al., 2000; McGuire and Dudley, 2011). Thailand
is a country in the center of continental Southeast
Asia. Located in the tropics, about four-fths of the
country has a border with the neighboring countries
of Myanmar, Laos, and Cambodia. The southern part
of central and eastern Thailand is bordered by the Gulf
of Thailand. The southern part of western Thailand is
the northern part of the Thai Peninsula, which extends
south to the border with Malaysia. The western part of
the peninsula is bordered by Myanmar's southernmost
border, and the rest is bordered by Andaman Sea, while
the eastern part of the peninsula is bordered by the Gulf
of Thailand. Northern Thailand is a region of several
mountain ranges with steep-sided valleys and peaks
over 2000 meters in elevation including Thailand’s
highest peak, Doi Inthanon, which is 2565 meters in
elevation. Northeastern Thailand is dominated by the
Khorat Plateau, an undulating plain covering some
400 kilometers. Elevations are generally less than 250
meters. Western Thailand is a mountainous region which
includes the southern extension of the western highlands
running parallel to the Myanmar border, with summits
generally between 1000 and 2000 meters in elevation.
The Central Plain forms the broad heartland of Thailand,
crossed by a network of rivers and canals which drain
into the Chao Phraya, the country’s principal river in
the center of the country. Eastern Thailand is located
between the Khorat Plateau and the sea. The terrain is
mountainous with forest. From the top of hills just a few
hundred meters in the western part of the region become
higher towards the east, with the highest being Khao
Soi Dao, which is 1670 meters in elevation. Southern
Thailand or Peninsular Thailand covers about 84,000
square kilometers in a narrow north-south strip of land,
separated from Western Thailand region by the Isthmus
of Kra (Ridd et al., 2011).
The lizard genus Draco currently con sists of 40 species
The Thailand Natural History Museum Journal 15(1), 30 June 2021
PROOFS
66
(Uetz et al., 2020). In Thailand, 12 species are found
(Uetz et al., 2020). They are found in forest habitats
throughout Thailand (Chan-ard et al., 2015). The purpose
of this report was to present the distribution of the
ying lizard genus Draco in Thailand examined from
data in the Reference Collection of Natural History of
Natural History Museum, National Science Museum,
Thailand (THNHM). The results of this report are
useful information that will be helpful to estimate the
distribution of each species of ying lizard in Thailand,
the study of the distribution which was discovered in
new areas, surveys, the collection of specimens in the
museum, and the management of conservation areas
in Thailand. This is of importance because the ying
lizard species in Thailand are on the list of protected
species according to Thai Law (Ministry of Natural
Resources and Environment, 2003).
MATERIALS AND METHODS
The data are based on examination of the museum
collections during 1967-2020 from the Reference
Collection of Natural History of Natural History Museum,
National Science Museum, Thailand (THNHM).
Nine species of ying lizards were examined: Draco
blanfordii, Draco mbriatus, Draco maculatus, Draco
maximus, Draco melanopogon, Draco obscurus, Draco
quinquefasciatus, Draco taeniopterus and Draco volans.
The numbers and species were cited in the study by
Srichairat et al. (2017) to create a list and maps of the
distribution of species in Thailand.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
Draco blanfordii Boulenger, 1885
WEST: Kanchanaburi: Ta rn Lo d C ave; Phetchaburi:
Tho Thip Waterfall, Kaeng Krachan National Park.
CENTRAL: Kamphaeng Phet: Khlong Lan National
Park; Uthai Thani : Khao Nang Rum Wildlife Research
Station (Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary). EAST:
Chanthaburi: Phlio Waterfall. SOUTH: Krabi: Khao
Nor Chuchi National Park, Mu Koh Lanta National
Park; Narathiwat: Hala-Bala Wildlife Sanctuary;
Phuket: Ton Sri Waterfall; Nakhon Si Thammarat:
Karom Waterfall, Khao Nan National Park; Pattani:
Na Pradu; Ranong: Koh Phayam; Songkhla: Ton Nga
Chang Waterfall; Surat Thani; Trang: Khao Chong,
Ton Te Waterfall.
Draco mbriatus Kuhl, 1820
EAST: Trat: Koh Kut; SOUTH: Nakhon Si
Thammarat: Khao Luang National Park.
Draco maculatus Gray, 1845
NORTH: Chiang Mai: Doi Suthep-Pui National
Park; Lampang: Hang Chat. NORTHEAST: Nakhon
Ratchasima: Khao Yai Nati onal Park; Bueng Kan: Phu
Wua Wildlife Sanctuary. WEST: Kanchanaburi: Th on g
Pha Phum National Park. CENTRAL: Bangkok: Siam
Farm Bangkok, Bang Phlat; Nakhon Nayok: Khlong
Maduea Waterfall. EAST: Chachoengsao: Khao Ang
Rue Nai Wildlife Sanctuary; Chanthaburi: Khao Soi
Dao Wildlife Sanctuary; Trat: Koh Kut. SOUTH:
Nakhon Si Thammarat: Klong Klay; Narathiwat:
Hala-Bala Wildlife Sanctuary, Su-ngai Kolok; Phuket:
Ton S ri Wat erfall ; Pattani: Na Pradu, Nong Chik; Surat
Thani: Pak Chalui; Songkhla: Boripat Waterfall;
Trang: Koh Libong.
Draco melanopogon Boulenger, 1887
NORTH: Chiang Mai. NORTHEAST: Loei: Phu
Luang Wildlife Sanctuary; Nakhon Ratchasima:
Sakaerat Environmental Research Station. WEST:
Phetchaburi. SO UTH: Kra bi ; Nakhon Si Thammarat:
Karom Waterfall; Narathiwat: Hala-Bala Wildlife
Sanctuary, Su-ngai Kolok; Satun; Surat Thani: Ban
Na San; Trang: Khao Ban Tad Wildlife Sanctuary;
Yala: Bannang Sata.
Draco obscurus Boulenger, 1887
SOUTH: Yala: Bannang Sata.
Draco quinquefasciatus Hardwicke & Gray, 1827
EAST: Trat: Koh Chang. SOUTH: Krabi: Mu Koh
Lanta National Park; Narathiwat: Sukhirin.
Draco taeniopterus Günther, 1861
NORTH: Nan: Khun Nan National Park. WEST:
Kanchanaburi: Tarn Lod Cave, Thong Pha Phum
National Park; Phetchaburi: Tho Thip Waterfall,
Kaeng Krachan National Park; Tak : Th ung Yai Wil dlife
Sanctuary, Umphang. EAST: Chachoengsao: Khao
Ang Rue Nai Wildlife Sanctuary; Chanthaburi: Khao
Soi Dao Wildlife Sanctuary, Phlio Waterfall; Chon
Buri: Chao Bo Thong Waterfall, Khao Khieo Open
Zoo; Sa Kaeo: Pang Sida National Park; Tra t: Khlong
Chao Waterfall, Koh Kut. SOUTH: Krabi: Khao Pra
Bangkram Wildlife Sanctuary, Mu Koh Lanta National
Park; Nakhon Si Thammarat: Karom Waterfall, Khao
Nan National Park; Phang Nga: Koh Similan, Mu Koh
Surin National Park; Phuket: Koh Racha; Ranong:
Bang Non; Satun: Phu Pha Phet Cave; Songkhla:
Boripat Waterfall; Surat Thani: Ban Na San, Khao
Sok National Park, Pak Chalui; Tr ang: Kantrang, Khao
Chong, Koh Libong.
Draco volans Linnaeus, 1758
CENTRAL: Bangkok: Siam Farm Bangkok, Bang
Nampochai et al. Distribution of Genus Draco of the Natural History Museum, Thailand...
PROOFS
67
Phlat. SOUTH: Krabi: Mu Koh Lanta National Park;
Nakhon Si Thammarat: Khao Nan National Park;
Pattani: Na Pradu; Phatthalung: Thale Noi Waterbird
Park, Khuan Khanun; Yala: Bannang Sata.
Eight species of ying lizards were examined: Draco
blanfordii, Draco mbriatus, Draco maculatus, Draco
melanopogon, Draco obscurus, Draco quinquefasciatus,
Draco taeniopterus and Draco volans. The species were
cited the study by Srichairat et al. (2017). According
to a study by Srichairat et al. (2017), Draco maximus
was found in the preserved specimen collection from
THNHM; (Numbers 02203, 02204, 02206–02218, 13564
–13566 and 13568). These specimens were previously
described as D. blanfordii. However, the current study
did not nd a denite distribution in Thailand for D.
maximus in the Reference Collection of the Natural
History Museum in the THNHM collection, so these
provinces in Thailand could not be identied and
mapped. The species from this study differed from the
study of Taylor (1963), Musters (1983) and Nabhitabhata
et al. (2000) who reported D. haematopogon had been
Table 1. Localities of ying lizard genus Draco in Thailand, from this study and published accounts
The Thailand Natural History Museum Journal 15(1), 30 June 2021
PROOFS
68
Ta bl e 1. Localities of yi ng lizard genus Draco in Thail and, from this study and publish ed accounts (continued)
found at Koh Pha Ngan, Thailand; however, this study
did not nd D. haematopogon at Koh Pha Ngan in the
Reference Collection of the Natural History Museum.
Draco blanfordii was described as one of three
commonly found ying lizard species that has been
reported distributed from northern to southern Thailand
Nampochai et al. Distribution of Genus Draco of the Natural History Museum, Thailand...
PROOFS
69
Figure 1. Maps: Geographical distribution of (a) Draco blanfordii, (b) Draco mbriatus, (c) Draco maculatus
and (d) Draco melanopogon with red points as localities from this study based on the Reference Collection of
Natural History of Natural History Museum, National Science Museum, Thailand (THNHM).
(Srichairat et al., 2014; Chan-ard et al., 2015). This study
found that this species was found in western, central,
southern, and eastern Thailand, but it was not found in
northern and northeastern Thailand. Furthermore, D.
blanfordii was also found in Phuket province as well
as research by Leong et al. (2003) and Kaeng Krachan
The Thailand Natural History Museum Journal 15(1), 30 June 2021
PROOFS
70
Figure 2. Maps: Geographical distribution of (e) Draco obscurus, (f) Draco quinquefasciatus, (g) Draco
taeniopterus and (h) Draco volans with red points as localities from this study based on the Reference Collection
of Natural History of Natural History Museum, National Science Museum, Thailand (THNHM).
National Park, Phetchaburi province, as well as research
by Pauwels et al. (2003), Pauwels and Chan-ard (2006)
and Pauwels et al. (2009). Draco maculatus and Draco
taeniopterus were described as tw o of three commonly
found ying lizard species that were distributed in
all regions (Musters, 1983; Srichairat et al., 2014).
Nampochai et al. Distribution of Genus Draco of the Natural History Museum, Thailand...
PROOFS
71
This study found these species in all regions, except
Draco taeniopterus, which is not found in northeastern
and central Thailand. This was different from the
description by Chan-ard et al. (2015), in which it was
found in Nakhon Ratchasima, northeastern Thailand.
Furthermore, Draco maculatus was a lso found in P huket
province by Leong et al. (2003). Draco taeniopterus
was also found in Phang-nga province by Pauwels et
al. (2000) and Pauwels et al. (2002), Phuket province
by Leong et al. (2003), and Phetchaburi province
by Pauwels and Chan-ard (2006) and Pauwels et al.
(2009). Draco mbriatus was found in the southern
provinces in peninsular Thailand by Chan-ard et al.
(2015) and in eastern Thailand. Draco melanopogon
was found in all regions except central and eastern
Thailand. This was different from the description by
Chan-ard et al. (2015), in which it was found only in
the peninsular Thailand, south of the Isthmus of Kra.
Draco obscurus in this study was found in Yala province,
southern Thailand in the description by Chan-ard et al.
(2015). This species was more common in southern
Thailand. Draco quinquefasciatus in this study was
found in eastern and southern Thailand, as well as in the
description by Chan-ard et al. (2015). Finally, Draco
volans was found mostly in the southern Thailand and
in central Thailand. In the work of Nabhitabhata et al.
(2000), Draco volans was found mostly in the southern
Thailand.
CONCLUSION
This study concluded that the distribution of ying lizards
in Thailand was the most common in the south with 8
species (Draco blanfordii, D. mbriatus, D. maculatus,
D. melanopogon, D. obscurus, D. quinquefasciatus, D.
taeniopterus and D. volans), followed by the east with
5 species (D. blanfordii, D. mbriatus, D. maculatus,
D. quinquefasciatus and D. taeniopterus), the west 4
species (D. blanfordii, D. maculatus, D. melanopogon
and D. taeniopterus), the Central with 3 species (D.
blanfordii, D. maculatus and D. volans), the north 3
with species (D. maculatus, D. melanopogon, and D.
taeniopterus), and the northeast with 2 species (D.
maculatus and D. melanopogon).
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
The authors are very grateful to Department of Biology,
Faculty of Science, Khon Kaen University and the
Natural History Museum (THNHM), National Science
Museum, Technopolis, Pathum Thani, Thailand for
allowing access to the reference collection. The authors
are grateful to Nattawut Srichairat and Prateep Duengkae
for reviewing a manuscript and our special thanks to
Chatchaiy Chueachat.
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A Field Guide to the Reptiles of Thailand
  • T Chan-Ard
  • J Nabhitabhata
  • J W Parr
Chan-ard, T., J. Nabhitabhata and J.W. Parr. 2015. A Field Guide to the Reptiles of Thailand. Oxford University Press. 314 pp.