Plumed basilisk

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Basiliscus plumifrons)
Jump to: navigation, search
Plumed basilisk[1]
Plumedbasiliskcele4 edit.jpg
Male plumed basilisk
Female plumed basilisk, Boston.jpg
Female plumed basilisk
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Sauropsida
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Sauria or Iguania
Family: Corytophanidae
Genus: Basiliscus
Species: B. plumifrons
Binomial name
Basiliscus plumifrons
(Cope, 1876)

The plumed basilisk, Basiliscus plumifrons, also called a green basilisk, double crested basilisk, or Jesus Christ lizard, is a species of corytophanid native to Central America.

Geographic range[edit]

Its natural distribution ranges from eastern Honduras, through Nicaragua and Costa Rica, to western Panama.[2][3]

Taxonomy and etymology[edit]

The plumed basilisk's generic name Basiliscus is taken from the legendary reptilian creature of European mythology which could turn a man to stone by its gaze: the Basilisk.[4] This name derives from the Greek basilískos (βασιλίσκος) meaning "little king".[4] This epithet was given in Carolus Linnaeus' 10th edition of Systema Naturae.[4]

Description[edit]

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.

Diet[edit]

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.

Reproduction[edit]

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.

Behaviour[edit]

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 when kept in captivity.

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.

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Basiliscus plumifrons". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. 
  2. ^ Kohler, G. (2008). Reptiles of Central America, 2nd edition. ISBN 978-3936180282
  3. ^ Savage J. M. (2005). The Amphibians and Reptiles of Costa Rica: A herpetofauna between two continents, between two seas. ISBN 978-0226735382
  4. ^ a b c Robert George Sprackland (1992). Giant lizards. Neptune, NJ: T.F.H. Publications. ISBN 0-86622-634-6. 

External links[edit]