The basilisk is named after the ancient Greek mythological figure, Basiliskos. This monstrous beast, had a crown-like crest at his head, had a deadly look and spitted fire. In Central America these lizards are also named as Jesus Christ lizards, as they can run considerable distances on the water.


Basilisken – Gunther Köhler  Book
A guide to Amphibians and Reptiles of Costa Rica – Twan Leenders  Book
The Amphibians and Reptiles of Costa Rica – Jay M. Savage  Book
Basilisken – Gunther Köhler  Book
A guide to Amphibians and Reptiles of Costa Rica – Twan Leenders  Book
The Amphibians and Reptiles of Costa Rica – Jay M. Savage  Book


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Basciliscus galeritus

The Basciliscus galeritus inhabit sthe rainforests of Columbia and Ecuador at the Pacific Coast. You will find him mostly in trees, bushes, rocks, logs and riverbanks.


Picture Gunther Köhler

From June to October the most clutches in nature are registered, mostly clutches of 5 to 10 eggs. But some clutches of 18 eggs have been found. The eggs are mostly 19-23 mm in length. The incubation period is at a temperature of 28ºC about 69-88 days. Young hatchlings have a length of 12 to 14 cm. 

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Length, including tail, 70-80 cm. Their back is olive with vertical reddish/brownish stripes. These stripes can fade a little when they get older. Their belly is reddish/brownish and their throat white/yellow. The males have only one big and round crest at their head, no crests at their back and tail. At their back and tail they have a scaly triangle rim, big triangles are altered by 2-4 smaller triangles. You also see this with females, only the scales are a little smaller, also her head crest is smaller. Of all the female basilisks, the Basciliscus galeritus female has the largest head crest.
As this basilisk seldom is kept in captivity, there is not much known of their behaviour.
As the males are very intolerant to each other, you better can keep a couple. The females are very willing to mate, so after a few clutches it is wise to separate the female for a while, so she can get some rest. 
Never put a young hatchling with adult basilisks, as they can eat the hatchlings, a tasty prey
Often they advise for basilisk, a male with 2 or 3 females, a terrarium size of 150x80x180 cm, the height is important as they like to climb. For a couple we have a terrarium of 160x60x110 cm, this size pleases us. They prefer a little pond, so they can drink, bath, swim and cool down. The ideal water temperature is 25-28 ºC. The temperature in the terrarium 28-30 ºC and some heath bulbs, so they can sunbathe. At these spots the temperature can increase to 40 ºC. At night the temperature may cool down until 20-25 ºC. The terrarium needs a high humidity, between 70-90%, at night this may increase until 100%. During the raining season you can sprinkle 2-3 times a day for a longer period, in the dry season 3-4 per week will do.
We have over almost the whole bottom a pond with running water through a cascade. This gives the terrarium a high humidity, so we do not sprinkle. We use an external filter. As the basilisks almost always shit in the water, we do not have to clean the terrarium that often.
The Basciliscus galeritus mainly eats insects (crickets, grasshoppers, walking sticks, wax-moths, morio-worms etc.), but also nest mice, snails, fish and rain-worms, some basilisks like also sweet fruit. Give them a few times a week some ‘pray’. For the young basilisks buffalo-worms, meal-worms, curly flies etc. will do. In nature the also like to eat fish and shrimps, they easily can catch small fishes out of the rivers.

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