Basiliscus vittatus — Brown Basilisk
Also known as:
Striped Basilisk, Yellow-striped Basilisk, Jesus Christ Lizard
This is a juvenile. Basilisks can run really fast on their hind legs, and with their spread-out back feet they can even run across water, a habit that has earned them the nickname "Jesus Christ lizards".
Pook's Hill, Belmopan, Belize—April 13, 1998
Along the edge of the Red Road canal, a large population of brown basilisks thrives. These three are all large adults. The last one is particular old and grizzled (but still remarkably fast).
A warm December day brought out the non-native Florida basilisks again in large numbers. The first four here are in order of increasing age and size, from a tiny hatchling (cute!) to a full-sized adult (what a tail!). The fifth and last photo shows a subadult basilisk snacking on a Brown Anole, another non-native Floridian lizard. These basilisks are extremely fast and quite shy, so it's always a challenge to notice them from far enough away to get a photo before they speed off into the bushes or across the water.
It had been many years since I saw one of these dramatic lizards in their natural habitat. Well, almost natural anyway. This one was basking on a rough brick patio. A fine lizard in the grand scheme of things, but it really loses its luster when compared to its sympatric green cousin.
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