Green Basilisk

Central America

Tropical rainforests

This reptile is green with a crest or fin on the back of the head. They have long tails and long limbs and range in size from 12 - 25.5 inches. The crest or fin on the back of the head and the flaps of skin on the underside of the hind feet allow them to run on the water’s surface.

Dietary Classification: Insectivorous
Diet in Zoo: Crickets
Diet in Wild: Mainly insects

When frightened, basilisks can take a running start on land and sprint across the water’s surface. These lizards can cover up to 32 feet before they dive in and start swimming or sink to the bottom to hide. This ability has given the basilisk the nickname ‘Jesus Lizard’, especially in the Latin American countries in which they are native.

The green basilisk is not listed on IUCN as Threatened.