- Art Gallery -

Basiliscus plumifrons

Basiliscus plumifrons, Photo: Michael Lahanas

Cladus: Eukaryota
Supergroup: Opisthokonta
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Classis: Reptilia
Subclassis: Diapsida
Infraclassis: Lepidosauromorpha
Superordo: Lepidosauria
Ordo: Squamata
Subordo: Sauria
Infraordo: Iguania
Familia: Corytophanidae
Genus: Basiliscus
Species: Basiliscus plumifrons


Basiliscus plumifrons Cope, 1876


* Basiliscus plumifrons Cope, 1875
* Basiliscus plumifrons - BOULENGER 1885
* Basiliscus plumifrons — PETERS & DONOSO-BARROS 1970
* Basiliscus plumifrons — LANG 1989
* Basiliscus plumifrons — BONETTI 2002


* FA Bisby, YR Roskov, MA Ruggiero, TM Orrell, LE Paglinawan, PW Brewer, N Bailly, J van Hertum, eds (2007). Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2007 Annual Checklist. Digital resource at www.catalogueoflife.org/annual-checklist/2007/. Species 2000: Reading, U.K.[1]
* Basiliscus plumifrons COPE 1876, Apr 15, 2003 , Etzold, T.Uetz, Peter, uBio
* Basiliscus plumifrons COPE, 1876, the Reptile Database

Vernacular names
Česky: Bazilišek zelený
Deutsch: Stirnlappenbasilisk
English: Plumed basilisk, Green Basiisk
日本語: グリーンバシリスク
Nederlands: Kroonbasilisk
Polski: Bazyliszek płatkogłowy
中文: 雙嵴冠蜥


The plumed basilisk, Basiliscus plumifrons, also called a green basilisk or double crested basilisk, is a species of lizard native to Latin America. Its natural range covers a swath from Mexico to Ecuador.

Taxonomy and etymology

The plumed basilisk's generic name basiliscus is taken from the creature of Greek mythology made up of parts of a rooster, snake, and lion which could turn a man to stone by its gaze: the Basilisk.[2] This name derives from the Greek basilískos (βασιλίσκος) meaning "little king".[2] This epithet was given in Carolus Linnaeus' 10th edition of Systema Naturae.[2]


Plumed basilisks are bright green with small bluish spots along the dorsal ridge. These lizards may grow up to 3 ft (1 m) in length (most of which is tail), with an average length of about 2 ft (0.6 m). Males have three crests: one on the head, one on their back, and one on the tail. The females, however, only have one crest, on the head.


Plumed basilisks are omnivorous and eat insects, small mammals (such as rodents), smaller species of lizards, fruits and flowers. Their predators include birds of prey, opossums and snakes.


The females of this species lay five to fifteen eggs at a time in warm, damp sand or soil. The eggs hatch after eight to ten weeks, at which point the young emerge as fully independent lizards.


Males are very territorial; a single male may keep land containing a large group of females with whom he mates. Most basilisks are skittish and do not tolerate much handling.

This lizard is able to run short distances across water using both its feet and tail for support, an ability shared with other basilisks and the Malaysian sail-finned lizard, Hydrosaurus amboinensis. In Costa Rica, this has earned the plumed basilisk the nickname "Jesus Christ lizard". It is also an excellent swimmer and can stay under water for up to 30 minutes.


1. ^ "Basiliscus plumifrons". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. http://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=683025.
2. ^ a b c Robert George Sprackland (1992). Giant lizards. Neptune, NJ: T.F.H. Publications. ISBN 0866226346.

Biology Encyclopedia

Reptiles Images

Source: Wikipedia, Wikispecies: All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License