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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Our experiences

Our experiences
PlumifronsLola250.jpgIn august 1999 we bought 2 young Basciliscus plumifrons, almost 2 months old. Soon they became hand tame. After half a year it was clear we had 2 male basilisks.  During the first year this was not a problem, they got a bigger terrarium, so they had all the space. But as they became adult, it was clear who was the dominant male. The dominant male was chasing regularly the other male. As we had a tropical greenhouse of 3 by 4 m, we thought, there they will have many spots to hide, probably this will be a good solution. Indeed, the tropical greenhouse was big enough for the both of them, the dominant male found straight away his favourite spot, his territory and the other male was not allowed to approach. But the other male had enough space to have his own territory, but he took care to stay out of sight of the dominant male.
Plumifrons2X250.jpgThe first week they came straight away to us when we entered the greenhouse, to look if we had brought food for them. But soon they became more shy. After a few months we had to get them out of the greenhouse, because they lost weight. Obviously the basilisks were too spoiled to get their food just beneath their noses and now they had to hunt by themselves. Unfortunately they did not succeed to obtain enough food. As we set out their nourishment and the basilisks were not fast enough to catch the crickets etc. straight away, they disappeared soon between the plants. Although we put lots of nourishment in the greenhouse, they had difficulty finding their ‘prey’.

The first eggs

At the end of 2001 we finally found a female Basciliscus plumifrons. She was already pregnant, we knew we took some risk, but as we were looking for quite some time for a female, we took the risk. Within a month she produced 12 eggs. We put them in a box with vermiculite and put it in an incubator at 28ºC. Unfortunately it turned out the eggs were not fertilized. But soon after she was pregnant again. This time 10 eggs and all fertilized.

The young ones

After 68 days all 10 eggs came out. In the morning we found 2 young basilisks at the grating of the incubator and we saw already some cracks in a few other eggs. Soon some other young ones came out of their eggs. I was photographing one coming out of his egg and straight after the flash he jumped out of the incubator and ran through our living room. Unbelievable, just a few seconds out of his egg and then already running that fast! You saw their umbilicus cord quite well, but after a couple of days it disappeared. At that time they started to eat their first nourishment, buffalo wurms. You better can say guzzling instead of eating. They were very active and curious, and cut the most strange capers in the water and in the branches. After 4 months you saw that the 2 largest basilisks got the first signs of their head-crests. They were the biggest greedy-guts and grew faster than the others, although the others also grew well. After 9 months it turned out that we had 6 males and 4 females. The most dominant basilisk was a female, although 2 males were a little larger, they made way for her. But there was no fights or stress. After 1 year the first fights came and some basilisks got a little stress. This was the time to give away the most basilisks.

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