Scientific Facts

CommonNameBrown Basilisk (Striped OrCommon) ScientificNameBasiliscus vittatusCaptiveLifespan8 –12 YearsSize24inches (60cm)Mass0.44–1.32 lb. (200 –600grams)HabitatVegetationalong with water bodies with enough sun exposureCountryof OriginCentralAmerica

Physical Description

Brown basilisks room thin, long, elegant lizards.The human body coloration varieties in shades the beige and also brown. Vividly-coloredstripes that orange or yellow go from the head and all follow me to the an extremely top ofthe abdominal muscle zone.Male brown basilisks are distinguished by the largeplumes situated on the tail, back, and also head. Similar to many various other reptile species,males are bigger than females.
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ImageSourceThereare four species of lizards in the Basiliscus genus, specific the plumed or environment-friendly basilisk (Basiliscus plumifrons),the stripped or brown basilisk(Basiliscusvittatus), the red-headedbasilisk (Basiliscus galeritus), and thecommon basilisk, Basiliscus basiliscus. The body coloration ofthese exceptional lizards ranges in miscellaneous shades the green, yellow, black,brown, blue, and also green.Out the the 4 species, the stripe basilisk is thesmallest one. Males usually reach 18 – 22 inches, if males generally grow to16 – 20 inches. Eco-friendly basilisks are considered the most strikinglycolored ones. Although striped basilisks absence the bright environment-friendly body colorationtypical for the Basiliscus plumifrons, they carry out possess a large, distinctcrest situated on the an extremely back that the head.

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Habitat & Lifespan

Ranging transparent the northwestern coast of Ecuador,tropical Mexico and also Jalisco, the genus Basiliscus is known tooccupy Southand central America.Dwelling follow me water basins, prefer riverbanks, whereaccess to adequate sunlight is offered, this lizards’ natural habitat in thewild likewise includes various vegetation, such together reed and also overgrown trees.


ImageSourceWildbasilisk lizards are rather erratic creatures. Their habits ishard to predict, together they often tend to keep transforming from one activity to an additional allof a sudden.These flighty reptiles often engage in climbing, aswell as head bobbing, swiftly moving their top up and down, together if showingrespect or disapproval in the direction of the contemplator. Basilisks spend many of theirtime high up in the tree or on the ground close to water bodies.Brown (common or stripped) basilisks also have thereputation the fairly great swimmers. When threatened, this lizards would certainly oftenhide underwater, although this is only a last resort form of self-protectivebehavior. In most instances of gift threatened, these lizards rear up, by usingtheir tails for supreme stability and also balance, enabling them to run extremelyfast.Probably the most intriguing behavioral trait of Basiliscusvittatus, apart from the capability todive into the water and remain underwater if required for the function of avoidingpredators, is the virtually supernatural capability to run over water for shortperiods that time. This is possible thanks to the hydrophobic scale locatedonthe underside the brown basilisks’ feet.


Overall, the enclosure need to measure 4x2x3ft. For bigger basilisks, one enclosure that measures 3 feet square x 5 feet tall is needed. However, the bigger the enclosure, the better, therefore if possible, perform not hesitate to exploit a bigger-sized terrarium.The enclosure must be constructed/selected in together a means as come be fitted with large vents necessary for suitable airflow, and with slide front doors.In general, brown basilisks come native a naturally heat environment, so caregivers who occur to live in regions where the climate is cooler 보다 the mean should ideal consider opting for a wooden vivarium.For real estate juvenile basilisks, over there is no have to opt because that a smaller enclosure, also though juveniles perform not require much open space. Your ideal bet is to administer plenty the decorations, instead of making use of a smaller enclosure, and also to progressively remove component of the decorations together the lizard proceeds to grow.In areas where the climate conditions are appropriate, the end enclosures are extremely recommended. The lizards deserve to be lugged indoors throughout the winter months.For out enclosures, make certain to cover with plastic sheeting during the night if temperatures are to drop below the optimal rates.To aid maintain temperature stable, the end enclosures have to be partly sunk into the soil at about 2 – 3 feet. In-the-ground concrete or block wall surfaces will act much like a buffer, aiding in stabilizing temperatures.Provide a forest-style terrarium through plenty of rise possibilities. When using branches for this purpose, execute not forget to ensure that these are clean that any feasible toxic chemicals and/or parasites.


For indoor enclosures, mulch, sphagnum moss, soil, or a mix of these, can work great, particularly for caregivers that wish to accomplish a an ext naturalistic effect. Coarse bark chip is also great bedding choice, gift affordable, simple to maintain, and virtually dust-free.For out enclosures, typical soil is wonderful choice, as lengthy as it has not been treated with any chemicals.Apart native the suitable, moisture-absorbing substrate, brown basilisks call for absorbent decorations, together these creatures naturally flourish in humidity levels ranging from tool to high. By choosing the right kind of substrate and decorations, keepers will certainly ensure the moisture native the morning misting will certainly be successfully took in and slowly released throughout the day.For bio-active enclosures, keepers desire to opt for an organic floor mix, and also to ensure the there is a drainage layer right below the soil.

Temperature, light & Humidity

ImageSourceIn the wild, brown basilisks are known to adapt to afairly wide range of habitats. However, they room most commonly found to occupy drierzones located at approximately 4950ft. Elevation, where temperatures measure in between 62– 83 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter season come 73 – 92 levels Fahrenheit inthe summer season. Wild basilisks are additionally subjected to high humidity duringthe rainy season when around 4 to 7 inches of rain is produced monthly.Keeping in mind the natural eco-friendly conditionswhere these lizards thrive, that is the keeper’s obligation to for sure theenclosure will administer adequate temperature, lighting, and also humidity for this reason thatcaptive basilisks can live approximately their fullest potential.For young basilisks, save temperatures over 60 levels Fahrenheit. If accidentally and only shortly exposed come temperatures below 45 degrees Fahrenheit, this should not cause lethal harm.During the day, maintain temperatures within the 75 – 95 levels Fahrenheit range. During the night, you can enable temperatures come drop under to 61 – 74 levels Fahrenheit.Brown basilisks’ enclosure must carry out adequate ventilation, and also a temperature gradient, too. Due to the fact that of this, suitable ventilation offer a double purpose. First, it help to remove warmth from the cooler next of the enclosure, and also secondly, it help to store temperatures ~ above the warm side repeatedly warm.Brown basilisks are recognized for spending rather some time basking. In the wild, these lizards will get a relatively good, organic shade cover, many thanks to sitting on plants and treetops, however, they will still spend a decent amount of their time basking under the generously warmth rays the the sun, gaining the much-needed heat.In the basking area, temperatures should be maintained within the 90 – 95 degrees Fahrenheit range throughout the day.The basking area should consist of for approximately 1/3 the the enclosure. The opposite next of the enclosure’s basking area should be tailored into a cooler zone.For developing a basking area, attach a basking lamp on one next of the enclosure’s ceiling. Make certain to use strong fixtures. Usage a dimming thermostat to save the temperatures secure throughout the day.Leave the basking lamp ON for 10 and also up come 12 hours per day.For giving a clean day-and-night light cycle, it is a should to switch off all lights during the night, maintaining the enclosure extensively dark.At night, temperatures will typically drop down, specifically with the basking lights being switched off. However, that is best to keep night temperatures within the 80 levels Fahrenheit variety on the warmer next of the terrarium. Because that this purpose, you can utilize a ceramic lamp, attached come the ago corner of the enclosure’s ceiling.If keepers room to make use of a ceramic lamp, it have to be ideal surrounded through a cover/guard. Also, using a pulse thermostat is the many convenient and efficient means to maintain night temperatures in ~ the preferred rates.Ideally, by utilizing an appropriately-positioned ceramic bulb, you deserve to maintain night temperatures within the 80 degrees Fahrenheit range in about 1/3 of the terrarium (the warmer side), if the temperature in the remainder of the enclosure will be able to drop down to room temperature.Throughout the day, ceramic lamps should be switched off.Although high-quality thermostats are reliable tools because that temperature control, the is finest to furthermore make usage of a thermometer for exact monitoring. If the temperature on the basking website comes v 5 levels Fahrenheit variance, this is nothing to be an especially worried about. However, dial thermometers set up on every side of the terrarium will certainly greatly assist to remain away from any type of unwanted issues related to turbulent temperatures.Keepers room highly encouraged to opt for digital probe thermometers in donate of simple dial thermometers for enhanced accuracy.Regardless that the partial UVB sunshine cover brown basilisks acquire in the nature thanks to tropical plants and also the canopy, captive brown basilisks execute require secondary source that UVB light. This source should it is in semi-intense.For offering UVB light, keepers space recommended to opt because that a 6% UV tube. The tube must run in ~ a minimum of 2/3 that the enclosure.For a simple 4x2x4ft. Enclosure, a UV tube of 6% strength is come be adequate enough. However, for taller enclosures, you may need come opt for a pipe of greater strength accordingly.You can discover UV tubes in two sizes, specific T5 and also T8. T5 lamps have actually an efficient light range of 18 and also up come 25 inches and also are around ½ inch in diameter. These lamps last because that 12 months on average and also should be changed accordingly.T8 lamps provide an effective range of 9 and also up to 12 inches, and they measure around 1 customs in diameter. These lamps need to be replaced every 6 months.For higher enclosures, a T5 unit is recommended. It must be attached come the ceiling, near to the back wall of the enclosure. By law so, keepers will be able to carry out a well-working UV gradient that will run every the means from the back of the enclosure to the front, and also from top to bottom, likewise ensuring that the temperature gradient will be equally well-running follow me the width and the length of the terrarium. As a result, the basilisk will certainly be complimentary to uncover its ideal position inside at any kind of time.Despite the fact that brown basilisks room basking-loving creatures, they do require an area wherein light is completely absent. This is easily achievable by offering full, as well as partial hiding spots.Full sheathe hiding spots include flat cork pieces, caves, and also any various other decorations the can administer a totally shaded spot because that the lizard to rest. Partial hiding spots encompass various themed ornaments, trailing, and/or high plants.The temperature gradient within the enclosure will enable these lizards to uncover the sweet spot transparent the day and night. However, also when a basking website is provided, these reptiles will occasionally want to acquire really, really hot, and for this purpose, hardwood decorations are highly recommended.Suitable timber decorations include liana pieces and grapevines. These must be positioned close come the warm end within the enclosure, yet sufficient far far from the basking lamp, as no to allow the lizard to acquire in dangerously close contact with the lamp.Use tronchos branches, absorbent oak, or a network positioned right against the liana pieces/grapevines, in order come let the lizard easily get about its captive home.Other objects that can radiate the warm from the basking lamp because that the objective of providing a secondary belly heat within the enclosure will certainly be very appreciated by her captive brown basilisk. Heavy man-made ornaments can work great, and so will natural rocks, such together slate.When place heat-radiating objects within the enclosure, always check whether the surface ar of this objects isn’t getting hotter 보다 needed, as this have the right to burn the animal. Place this form of decorations roughly and/or under the basking area. As far as maintaining ideal humidity for captive brown basilisks is concerned, weekly misting that the enclosure is recommended.


Image SourceBrownbasilisk lizards room omnivorous. This method that your diet consistsof both meat and also vegetation. However, in the wild, basilisks will rarely seekout vegetation to accomplish their appetites. This types is known to be much moreoriented in the direction of the meat current in the diet.Wild brown basilisks thrive on catching a selection ofsmall fish, invertebrates, as well as tiny mammals.For captive basilisks, feeding live insects occupational best.

Eating Habits

Image SourceTo accomplish the eating behavior of her captive brownbasilisk, feeding brown crickets is extremely recommendable. Brown crickets arewidely obtainable and affordable, providing a great value because that the money spent, asthey are an extremely rich in nutrients. Plus, brown crickets are quite easy andenjoyable because that the basilisks come hunt down.Sometimes, basilisks might refuse to take it browncrickets, though, but this is not a factor to worry. If her basilisk doesn’taccept brown crickets, move to feeding the lizard with locust and/or blackcrickets.For giving a sweet act to your basilisk pet everynow and then, you deserve to offer calciworms, beetle grubs, cockroaches, mealworms,and waxworms.Mind the both worms and grubs are rather high in fats,so you only want to sell these as an sometimes treat no much more than twice, butbetter yet only when per week.As come mealworms, cockroaches, and also morio worms,it is important to understand that these are daunting for your lizard to digestprobably. Because of this, such treats should be only noted to basilisksover 18 months, only once and also up to twice a week.As come vegetation, you deserve to offer your captive basiliskripe berries every now and then, as, in the wild, basilisks are recognized tosometimes feast on collapse berries. It is an excellent to understand that in the wild, tree materialmakes up for about 22% of these lizards’ diet vs. 78% animal material.

Sleeping Habits

ImageSourceBasilisks are well-known to sleep high up in the branches oftrees (up come 20meters) in their organic habitat, orrespectively, top top perches, as soon as it concerns captive basilisks. Thesecreatures space diurnal, an interpretation that castle become active during the day when theyget come rest, bask, and also forage and they come to be inactive in ~ night once theyusually sleep.


Image resource Providing a large water key is a must. Carry out mind,though, that these lizards will certainly defecate in the water, therefore daily, regularcleaning that the water bowl is crucial.Caregivers may never really gain to watch their basiliskdrinking water straight from the water bowl; however, a water bowl stays animperative part of the enclosure, also if just serving as a back-up.Basilisks will almost certainly usage the water bowl forbathing, therefore the size of the bowl need to fit the dimension of the lizard. By soakingin the water, basilisks deserve to cool under whenever desired. Also, soaking in wateris an extremely helpful when it involves loosening shedding skin, thus, greatly assistingthe shedding procedure in the to run smoothly.Make certain to location both the water bowl, and also thefood dish on the cool side of the enclosure, in order to stop quickevaporation and drying off.

Development and Reproduction

ImageSourceStriped/brown basilisks reach sexual maturity oncethey rotate at least 10 months of age, return sometimes, this can happen aslate as as soon as they rotate 15 month of age.When still at a young age, sexually maturation basiliskshave not got to their maximum adult dimension yet. Male basilisks are recognized todevelop an ext slowly than females, with many females getting to sexual maturity asthey get around 135mm in length.Experts think that males generally reach complete sexualmaturity when they enter their 2nd year the life, if females execute so oncethey enter their 20th month the age.Breeding occurs in March. Females space to put clutchesof eggs, typically containing as couple of as 2 and also up come 18 eggs per clutch, overthe food of ten months after successfully mating with a male. Bigger femalesare reported to lay an ext eggs than smaller sized ones.In the reproduction season in the wild, bigger males willfrequently attack smaller males, thus, displaying size-related dominance andpreventing the smaller sized ones native breeding.

How come Breed

Image resource For keepers who desire to breed their common brown or stripe basilisks, over there is no must do anything particular in order come encourage breeding. A sexually tires male and female should be introduced, and also breeding may or might not occur.As long as the mating pair is in perfect health, and also the conditions within the enclosure are closely maintained as usually, breeding should occur all naturally.A gravid female should be granted access to a perfect nesting crate for the objective of laying the eggs. Make certain to have actually a nesting crate all collection and handy before Attempting to breed these lizards.The nesting box should be huge enough because that the female to be able to fully turn roughly once she it s okay inside. Provide a clean floor mix inside the nesting box, and also keep it humid sufficient to host its shape, however never permit it to end up being overly wet. If also wet, eggs will certainly be saturated, thus, failing to hatch.As soon as the keeper is come notices the female has laid eggs inside the nesting box, the eggs should be transferred right into a perfect incubator. The temperature within the incubator should be preserved stable in ~ 84 degrees Fahrenheit.Sealed boxes have the right to do a an excellent job that incubating the eggs. Within about 60 days, the egg will start to hatch. When the very first babies space to emerge, lock will easily encourage the rest of the eggs to hatch successfully.


ImageSourceUnlike other lizards that can be gradually trained downand taken on regularly, this is not thecase v brown typical or strip basilisks. This wild-hearted creatures generallydislike being handled, even after spending years with their caregivers. This isnot to say the these lizards do not make engaging pets; however, if friend wishto obtain a reptile pet tolerable to handling, basilisks will not do thebest option.Handling need to only take location when necessary, andnot for the caregiver’s very own joy. Also, mind that mature brown basilisks areequipped with quite powerful jaws and also sharp teeth, and sharp claws, sowearing protective gloves and also long-sleeved clothing when dealing with is strongly recommended.

How come Treat and Prevent feasible Health Issues

Image SourceNose rubbing and possibleinternal organs damageWhenever captive basilisks space to feeling exposed and/orstressed, lock will typically get to rub their noses along the enclosure’swalls. Doing therefore is attached with feasible rostral trauma, and infections causedby open wounds are also highly likely to occur.Although hardly ever than possible nose rubbing-relatedissues, basilisks may also suffer from internal organ damages if they space to runinto the walls of the enclosure. In such instances, what happens to thelizard’s interior organs is quite comparable to what happens to the person bodyduring a automobile crash accident. Typically, the bulk of call if thelizard is to abruptly halt after smashing into the glass, occurs between thereptile’s face and also the wall, leading to the brain to it is in at higher risk of injury,and in serious cases, even possible death.The unwanted health risks linked with theoccurrence of any kind of of the issues noted above are fully preventable, providedthe enclosure is big enough to suit the size of the basilisk. Providingplenty the hiding spots will additionally lower the hazard of together accidents.Mind that lizards are far less most likely to press againstthe enclosure’s wall surface if a piece of cardboard is placed strategically follow me thevery bottom of any transparent walls, together the reptile will merely fail come seethrough the cardboard.

Essential supplements

Captive basilisks require added calciumsupplementation, which deserve to be listed in the form of vitamins, calcium, orpure calcium.Any the the calcium/vitamin supplements must bedeprived of containing extra Vitamin D3 due to the fact that these reptiles will produceenough vitamin D3 by optimizing UVB light listed by the caregivers throughappropriate irradiate bulbs and fixtures.For holder who room not certain whether the UVB lightsource within the enclosure will carry out enough UVB light, the safest bet is toadditionally supplement with some Vitamin D3.Calcium powder have to be dusted on food offeringsevery day, when calcium powder through D3 and also balanced multivitamins should beprovided v feeding only every various other day.

Possible threats to Humans

ImageSourceSalmonellaLike every reptiles, basilisks have the right to infect humans with salmonella,although this is rather uncommon for high-quality, captive-bred basilisks.However, that is always imperative that keepers are to to wash their handsthoroughly every time after getting in call with your basilisk pets and/orany surfaces in ~ the enclosure. Execute nevertouch your mouth before washing her hands v hot, soapy water, together it isthrough the mouth of how salmonella bacteria have the right to be moved to humans.Anychildren below the period of 6, as well as elderly civilization or those through weakimmune system should avoid acquiring in contact with the basilisk pet, as thesegroups of world are much more susceptible come Salmonella, and/orother bacteria that might be by chance ingested after emotional the lizard orany the the decorations and also equipment in ~ the enclosure.Nasty bitesMindthat this lizards yes, really dislike being handled, and in many cases, castle willnot hesitate to bite. The bite is painful, and bleedingis almost an unavoidable consequence, specifically if bitten by tires basilisks. If bitten,do not struggle, as this will certainly onlycause the lizard to further strengthen the grip. Stay calm and allow thebasilisk come let you go.Washthe bitten zone carefully with antibacterial soap and hot water. If swelling,redness, or other forms of major irritation are to occur, above immediatelywith a standard physician, as no to end up v an infected wound.

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Availability: just how to acquire a Brown Basilisk?

ImageSourceBrown typical or striped basilisks are the most widelyspread basilisks in the pet trade. This reptiles are fairly affordable;however, no every captive-bred basilisk has been taken proper care of. If a basilisk appears malnourished, it is best toavoid purchase the animal, together malnourishment is a solid authorize that thebreeders/retailers have been negligent towards the reptile’s health andwell-being, and this could further show other hidden wellness issues.As through all reptiles, wild-caught basilisks need to beavoided. These deserve to host a wide array of bacteria and parasites, so that is notworth the risk.

Fun Facts