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Green Basilisk

Common Name Green Basilisk

Scientific Name Basiliscus plumifrons

Species Reptiles

Family/Group Lizards



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The plumed basilisk (Basiliscus plumifrons) is a species of lizard native to Latin America. Its natural range covers a swath from Mexico to Ecuador.

Plumed basilisks are omnivorous and will eat insects, small mammals (such as rodents), smaller species of lizards, fruits and flowers. Their predators include raptors, opossums and snakes.

The females of this species will lay 5 to 15 eggs at a time in warm, damp sand or soil. They take between eight and ten weeks to hatch, at which point the young emerge as fully independent lizards.

Males are very territorial; a single male may keep land containing a large group of females with whom he mates.

This lizard is able to run short distances across water using both its feet and tail for support, an ability shared with other basilisks and the Malaysian Sail-finned Lizard (Hydrosaurus amboinensis). This has earned the plumed basilisk the nickname "Jesus Christ lizard". However, it is also an excellent swimmer and can stay under water for up to 30 minutes.

Further Reading

Nicaragua Animal Guide