Christopher Taylor Bird Nature Wildlife Mammal Photography
nature photography
GALLERIES > REPTILES AND HERPS > BROWN BASILISK [Basiliscus vittatus]


Brown Basilisk Image @ Kiwifoto.com
 
 
Location: Isla de Cozumel, Mexico
GPS: 20.4N, -86.9W, elev=18' MAP
Date: October 23, 2008
ID : 7C2V1426 [3888 x 2592]

Brown Basilisk Image @ Kiwifoto.com
 
 
Location: Isla de Cozumel, Mexico
GPS: 20.4N, -86.9W, elev=18' MAP
Date: October 23, 2008
ID : 7C2V1424 [3888 x 2592]

nature photography

SPECIES INFO

The Brown basilisk or Striped basilisk (Basiliscus vittatus; in some areas referred to as "common basilisk") is one species of basilisk lizard. They are native to Central America, but have been introduced into the U.S. state of Florida as a feral species.

Along with the Common Basilisk they have the nickname "Jesus Lizard" because when fleeing from a predator, they are very fast and can even run on top of the water. Basilisks actually have large hind feet with flaps of skin between each toe. The fact that they move quickly across the water, aided by their web-like feet, gives them the appearance of "walking on water".

The Brown 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. This name derives from the Greek basilÝskos (▀as???s???) meaning "little king". This epithet was given in Carolus Linnaeus' 10th edition of Systema Naturae.

Smaller basilisks can run about 10-20 meters on the water without sinking. Young basilisks can usually run farther than older ones. If the animal faces danger, it starts to run very fast on the surface of a river or a lake. Then the flaps on its hind feet are opened and thus more surface area is provided for it to run on water.

They are in the same infraorder as the iguanid family. Like most reptiles, basilisks are active during the day. They have long toes and sharp claws. Most are under a foot in length, but some may grow up to two feet. Basilisks usually weigh between 200-600 grams. Their maximum lifespan is probably around 7-8 years. In the wild, most die much sooner. Females lay about 2-18 eggs, five to eight times a year. Eggs hatch after about three months and the babies weigh about 2 grams. Their outstanding camouflage allows them to remain motionless and very hard to detect.



                                     



HOME · ABOUT ME · GALLERY · STOCKLIST · VIDEO · SEARCH · PRESS · CONTACT · BLOG · NEW STUFF
nature photography
All images and video © Copyright 2006-2016 Christopher Taylor, Content and maps by their respective owner. All rights reserved.
bird photography