Fun Green Basilisk Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Green Basilisk Facts For Kids

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The green basilisk lizard (Basiliscus plumifrons) is a species of lizards endemic to Central America. They are mainly available in the tropical rainforests of Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, and Honduras. They are mainly available throughout their range. Green basilisks are the only species of basilisk lizards that are bright green in color, and hence the name. This animal is known by a number of names: double-crested basilisk, plumed basilisk, Jesus Christ lizard, and many others. An adult green basilisk lizard can grow as long as 24-30 in (60.9-76.2 cm) and can weigh up to 7 oz (198.4 g). The body is covered in scales and its long and strong hind legs help it to run on them at a great speed of 7 mph (11.3 kph) on land. It also makes use of these hind legs for sprinting on the surface of the water. They are very territorial animals. Female basilisks can lay a clutch of 15-17 eggs during the breeding season which begins from March. The animal is omnivorous in nature, its diet consisting of both small insects, snails, and other mammals, as well as plants and other vegetation. They are a very exciting pet to possess, although their easily alarming nature might be a put-off for many owners. To know more information about the green basilisk running on water, green basilisk lizard facts, and other interesting facts about the green basilisk lizard, read this article.

For more relatable content, check out these monitor lizard facts and frilled lizard facts for kids.

Fun Green Basilisk Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?

Insects, snails, small mammals

What do they eat?


Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?

Up to 7 oz (198.4 g)

How long are they?

24-30 in (60.9-76.2 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Green, grey

Skin Type

Dry scales

What were their main threats?

Natural Predators Such As Birds And Large Reptiles

What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them?

Tropical Rainforests


Central America









Green Basilisk Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a green basilisk?

The green basilisk or the double-crested basilisk lizard is a reptile endemic to Central America.

What class of animal does a green basilisk belong to?

The green basilisk lizard belongs to the Reptilia class of the Animalia kingdom.  

How many green basilisks are there in the world?

No proper estimate regarding the total population of the green basilisk lizard is available. However, as per the IUCN Red List, their population trend is listed as being stable.

Where does a green basilisk live?

The green basilisk lizard is found in Central America, mainly in the tropical rainforests of Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, and Honduras. They are more or less available throughout their range.

What is a green basilisk's habitat?

The green basilisk lizard prefers to live in a moist and warm environment. Hence they are mainly found in tropical rainforests. They are semi-aquatic and semi-arboreal and are most often found near water bodies. As pets, they need a warm and clean environment to survive.

Who do green basilisks live with?

Green crested Basilisks are very territorial animals, living mainly with a few female members. They will aggressively defend their territories against rival males. As pets, they are solitary creatures that are easily alarmed.

How long does a green basilisk live?

The green basilisk lizard has an average lifespan of 7-10 years in captivity. However, they need strict dietary requirements, warm and clean environment in order to survive. The survival rate of the lizard species is shorter in the wild because of predators such as birds and large reptiles.

How do they reproduce?

The breeding season normally begins around March with female green basilisks becoming plump within 1-2 weeks. They lay around 15-17 eggs in a burrow. The size of the clutch depends principally upon the health, age, and size of female lizards. Female basilisk has been observed to lay multiple clutches during a breeding season. The eggs take around 8-10 weeks to hatch, with the young basilisk lizards attaining sexual maturity in around two years.

What is their conservation status?

No approximate number is available regarding the total population of the green basilisk lizard. However, they have been classified as Least Concern in the IUCN Red List.

Green Basilisk Fun Facts

What do green basilisks look like?

Green basilisks (Basiliscus plumifrons) are the only species of the four basilisk lizard species that are bright green in color. The head is triangular and the body of the green basilisk lizard is laterally compressed. The eyes are round with round pupils and a yellow iris. The front limbs are relatively much shorter than the hind legs, and the long toes are flattened and have scales. The tail is heavily compressed with a crest running all along its length.

Some members of the green basilisk lizard species have gray, light blue, or white markings on their bodies. A few of them also have black dorsal markings. The green crested basilisk has a stomach that is lighter green in color and the long tail might have thin black bands or may be unmarked.

Adult green basilisk males possess four vertebral crests. They are found throughout their body. There is a tiny crest just behind the eyes, a dorsal crest, a much larger crest at the back of their heads, and a crest running all along the length of their tails. Juvenile and female basilisks only have a greatly reduced second head crest and a feeble tail crest.

Facts about the color, diet, and eggs of green basilisk lizards give us joy.

How cute are they?

The green basilisk lizard has large eyes and a very skittish nature. It is easily alarmed and it makes them a very cute pet.

How do they communicate?

Plumed or green basilisks have the same communication system as all other lizards. They engage in pushup-like gestures and also sway their long tails to communicate with other members of their family.

How big is a green basilisk?

An adult green basilisk lizard can grow as long as 24-30 in (60.9-76.2 cm), which includes its very long tail. This would make them roughly as big as the frilled lizard.

How fast can a green basilisk run?

Green basilisks can run at great speed when frightened. They run on their hind legs, just like humans, and can break at a great speed of 7 mph (11.3 kph) on land.

How much does a green basilisk weigh?

An adult green basilisk lizard can weigh up to 7 oz (198.4 g). This would make them heavier than both the Texas horned lizard and sand lizard.

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names for males and females of these species of the green basilisk lizard.

What would you call a baby green basilisk?

There is no specific name for a baby green basilisk lizard. However, like in the case of all lizards, a green basilisk lizard coming from an egg is called a hatchling or neonate. After growing, it is called a juvenile.

What do they eat?

The green basilisk lizard is omnivorous in nature. The primary diet of this reptile includes spiders, crawfish, insects, snails, small lizards, and other smaller mammals. They are also known to devour small plants and vegetation as their food. In many zoos around the world, such as the Smithsonian National Zoo, these animals are fed earthworms and other insects.

Are they poisonous?

No, Green crested green basilisks are not poisonous animals.

Would they make a good pet?

Green basilisks are attractive and exciting pets to own. However, they are not known to possess a friendly and easy demeanor. Pet owners should be aware that the basilisks are quite easily frightened or agitated and are known to be skittish in nature. As with most pets, the basilisks also require a clean environment to thrive and owners should be particularly careful about this. They also have specific dietary needs and heat requirements in order to strive.

Did you know...

The green crested basilisk can run on water and this is from where it gets the nickname 'Jesus Christ lizard'. No, running does not mean skimming on the surface of the water like other insects - they literally can run on water at a very high speed. They paddle their hind legs very fast which creates pockets of air that help them to achieve this incredible feat. When startled, these basilisk lizards sprint on water, running on the long toes of their hind feet. These long toes are fringed with scales that spread out when running on water. The juvenile lizards regularly do this, while the heavier adults do it only when alarmed or frightened.  

For an average human being, weighing 175 lb (80 kg), to achieve this feat same as the Jesus Christ lizard, they have to maintain an incredible speed of 65 mph (104 kph) while running.

The green basilisk's survival skills

The green crested basilisk lives in dense vegetation near water bodies where they hang from low branches or forage for food. Owing to their bright green color, they can camouflage amongst their surroundings pretty well. This helps them to trick their predators such as birds and larger reptiles.

These animals have long and strong hind legs which help them to run very fast on land and water to flee from predators. The reptile also has a very long tail which helps them in climbing trees and running on water.  

Green basilisk eggs

The female double-crested Basilisk lizard lays around 15-17 eggs in a pit that is 6 in (15 cm) deep and dug in moist soil. The lizards then refill the nest site to protect their eggs from predators. The eggs should be incubated around 82-85 F which will make them hatch in 60-70 days. The juveniles should be kept in a warm environment (85-90 F). They attain sexual maturity by the age of 2 years (18-24 months). However, the male hatchlings begin to battle even before they reach 6 months of age. Hence, they should be segregated early.  

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these husky boa facts and monitor lizard facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Green basilisk coloring pages.

Written By
Moumita Dutta

<p>A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.</p>

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