Jesus Christ Lizard or Green Plumed Basilisk (Basiliscus plumifrons)

These two Jesus Christ Lizard or Green Basilisks (Basiliscus plumifrons) were photographed near water ways in Limon Costa Rica.

This Green Basilisk is also known as the Jesus Christ lizard because it can run 15 feet on top of water as a survival technique. The plumes are full of color including turquoise, see the younger basilisk below. Both of these subjects are males. Only the males have this type of plumage, females only have crests on their heads. These creatures are native to Central America from Honduras to Panama. They vary in size as the pictures below show.

They are omnivores. They feed on smaller lizards, small rodents as well as plants and flowers. Basilisks are eaten by snakes,opossums and large birds.

Large, older Basilisk

This guy lives down around our stream. We see him a few times a week so he’s not afraid of us anymore but he does have to feel like he is in a safe spot in a tree when we he spots us. This is by far the largest basilisk we have seen here on the farm. He is about triple the size of the others, which means that he has a lot more years under his crest.

jesus christ lizard
This is a close up of his sail like crest.
Jesus Christ Lizard jesus christ lizard frontal view jesus christ lizard head

Younger male basilisk

This smaller basilisk was photographed during one of our canoe trips through the Tortuguero canals. His plumage is one of the most colorful that we have seen.
male green basilisk male jesus christ lizard

3 comments on “Jesus Christ Lizard or Green Plumed Basilisk (Basiliscus plumifrons)”

  1. Brian Reply

    Great pictures as always. Do you have any of him ‘in context’ (i.e. larger from further away so we can see where he was in relation to the stream, for example?

    Keep the pics coming. They are a highlight of my ‘Facebook-scan’.

    • Kimberly Beck Reply

      A total of about 36 inches. We couldn’t exactly get him to step on the scale and stand up next to the measuring tape now could we? : ) He was a big boy though.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *