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Fun Facts About Brown Basilisk

By Guest

They are native to Panama, Belize, and northwestern Colombia and Costa Rica. This species can be found in tropical and subtropical wet, moist, and dry forests. In Guatemala, this species is widespread, found practically anywhere where there is a water source. Basilisks are lizards that have large hind feet with flaps of skin between each toe. This allows them to move quickly across the water and gives them the appearance of “walking on water”. Because of that they were given the nickname “Jesus Lizard”.

They usually appear in brown or olive brown with black stripes. The stripes are usually only on the flanks and on the dorsal crest. They also have a white stripe, which extends from the eyes to the rear legs. The males have a larger crest than the females. Basilisks are omnivorous, meaning they eat both plants and small animals. They feed mostly on insects but are reported to sometimes feed on fallen berries. Male Brown Basilisks can reach 80 cm in length and females are somewhat smaller. The average lifespan for a well kept basilisk can be 7-8 years.

This lizard is quite arboreal, and can be seen in bushes and the lower branches of trees, but also spends time on the ground. At night it can be found sleeping in vine-covered thickets or in the open on low bushes. Basilisks are capable of climbing, running, and swimming, all with equal facility.

Females lay 3 to 12 eggs from May to August in a secluded moisture retaining nesting site, usually a hole. The young hatch during the early part of the rainy season from June to September in about 55 to 65 days. Brown basilisks breed once a year. Sexual maturity is reached at about 9 to 10 cm at less than a year of age, and during the wet season.

Since people have been invading tropical areas, they are commonly seen in houses placed in areas that have the right climate. They are also very popular as pets.

Marina K. Villatoro, lives in Central America – Costa Rica and Guatemala for the past decade. She has traveled all over these areas with her family and now she loves to organize vacations to Costa Rica and Guatemala. Contact her for advice and to plan your perfect trip!

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Guest, Guest "Fun Facts About Brown Basilisk." Fun Facts About Brown Basilisk. 6 Jul. 2010. 4 Aug 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Guest, G (2010, July 6). Fun Facts About Brown Basilisk. Retrieved August 4, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Guest, Guest "Fun Facts About Brown Basilisk"

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