Green Basilisks as Pets: 14 Questions & Answers (Explained)

Green Basilisks as Pets-Everything You Need to Know

The Green Basilisk Lizard (also known as The Jesus Christ Lizard or Plumed Basilisk Lizard) is well-known for not only it’s striking green colored body, but their impressive capability to run on water!

Commonly found throughout forests within Northern and Southern America, the Green Basilisk Lizard can also be found throughout wet or damp areas often near rivers or high up within trees. This is not to say that they do not like the sunlight, instead they simply prefer to hang around bodies of water incase they need to showcase their running on water skills.

Not only are Green Basilisk Lizards wild reptiles scouted throughout the forests, but they’re also kept as household pets and many people love to take on the responsibilities, challenges and excitement that comes with owning one! (Despite their wild temperament and all…)

Prey and Predators | Green Basilisk Lizards

Speed, momentum, and strength are three things that the Green Basilisk Lizard needs when hunting prey or running from their predators.

When running from predators, the Basilisk performs a supernatural ability to run on water.

It’s common for a Basilisk to live near or around water, thus when escaping the sight of a predator, they’ll either run on the water or completely submerge themselves underneath. (Lasting between 10 – 30 minutes without needing a single breath!)

Predators of Green Basilisk Lizards include:

Just like their ability to run on the water when escaping their predators, the Green Basilisk Lizard follows the same capability when chasing prey.

Due to their prey being smaller, faster and less obvious, you’ll find that the Green Basilisk Lizard uses their extremely fast movement and skittish temperament to its advantage for them to catch its prey.

Prey of Green Basilisk Lizards include:

  • Fish
  • Crickets
  • Worms
  • Flies/Butterflies
  • Similar insects

Types of Basilisk Lizards

There are four species of Basilisk Lizard’s found in the world. With the Green Basilisk Lizard being the most beautiful (in my humble opinion); There are also:

  • The Common Basilisk
  • Emerald Basilisk
  • Brown Basilisk

All three primarily can be found in Costa Rica, within rainforests or warm and damp environments throughout Central and South America also.

Basilisk Lizards are not poisonous and are not considered a threat towards humans. Basilisk Lizards can, however, be a threat to their own species and should be monitored when kept in pairs.

Interesting Myth: The Basilisk Lizard received their interesting name from a mythical creature named “Basilisk”. In short, the creature was believed to have crests on its back, similar to the Green Basilisk Lizard.

Are Green Basilisks Good Pets?

When deciding to purchase a Green Basilisk Lizard, it’s important to consider many different things prior, especially if they’ll make as a good pet that’s suitable for yourself, family or lifestyle.

Right off the bat, Green Basilisk Lizards don’t make as good pets for young children. Due to the Green Basilisk’s speedy running skills and super-active behavior (and let’s not mention their temperament); It’s best to keep them far away from young children, out of the best interest for both child and animal.

Generally speaking, they can be good pets to have, however, are better suited as show-animals, similar to a fish or snake.

If you’re looking to purchase one of these scaly creatures for yourself or someone of mature age; Ensuring you have the money, time and effort to maintain their lifestyle as they grow is one of the main things you should consider.

Aside from maintenance costs, keeping up with their temperament behavior and basic needs should also be considered before purchase.

Once you have these priorities established, the Green Basilisk Lizard can make as an easy pet to care for. (Considering you’re not wanting a pet that you can snuggle with, otherwise, you should opt for a cat or dog instead…)

How Big Does a Green Basilisk Get?

The Green Basilisk Lizard (also known as Plumed Basilisk), is not only remarkable in color but also lengthy in size!

Green Basilisk averages at a length of 2.5 – 7cm’s (1 – 3 inches) during birth and will grow up to 75cm’s long (30 inches) which includes their massive tail once they’ve reached adulthood.

It’s important to remember that if you purchase a Green Basilisk when they’re young, you’ll eventually need to invest in a larger cage in the future as well as other materials that go inside/around it due to their rapid growth.

Unfortunately, it is inhumane to leave them inside of a cage that’s too small and if you can not afford to continue the costs you should consider taking them to a lizard sanctuary or selling them to another home.

How Long Do Green Basilisk Lizards Live?

The average Green Basilisk Lizard can live a happy and sustainable life ranging between 8 to 12 years when in captivity. However, it is said that a wild Basilisk can live up to 900 years… Crikey!

For your Green Basilisk Lizard to live a long and fruitful life, you should be giving them a healthy diet, plenty of space to roam and play, as well as vitamin D and calcium to aid them in their bone growth.

How Much Does a Basilisk Lizard Cost?

Considering you live in the United States, the price of a single Basilisk Lizard ranges anywhere between $5 – $30 USD.

This cost will entirely depend on a few factors:

  • Your location within America (certain states have them priced cheaper)
  • The age of the lizard you want to purchase
  • If they’re wild captures or domesticated (wild captures are usually cheaper)
  • The sex of the lizard

The average price doesn’t factor in any other materials you may need to purchase for your new scaly friend.

Other costs to consider may be:

  • Basilisk Lizard Cage
  • Food + Water
  • Doctors/VETS
  • Lighting
  • Heating
  • Additional costs to keep their cage/electricity on and running for them

Once you’ve factored in the alternative costs needed for caring for a Basilisk Lizard, the total price may reach up to $500USD.

Carefully consider whether you have the affordability to care for a Basilisk Lizard full-term before purchasing, as once they grow you may require more out of pocket costs in the future.

Green Basilisks Color

Although there are 4 different types of Basilisk Lizards, the Green Basilisk Lizard lives up to its name and is commonly known as the reptile with a vibrant green color that covers their entire body.

Aside from their beautiful color, they also have eye-catching, yellow-toned, captivating crests that follow along their backside. A piece that isn’t hard to miss when observing the little creatures!

Are Basilisk Lizards Dangerous?

Generally speaking, Basilisk Lizards are not dangerous creatures and you should not need to worry about them being a hazard to you if considering to purchase one.

However, wild Basilisk Lizards are known for their skittish behavior and aggressive nature, thus, you should take caution when in the proximity of any wild reptiles.

Before purchasing a Basilisk Lizard, always ask if your desired reptile is a wild capture or tamed/domesticated. This way, it can give you a good idea with what to expect regarding the behavior of the lizard and what precautions to take.

Remember: Never place your fingers near or inside of a Basilisk Lizard’s mouth (Regardless if the animal is wild or tamed)

Do Basilisk Lizards Bite?

If your Basilisk Lizard is domesticated and well-tamed, you shouldn’t worry about the chances of being bitten by your scaly friend. However, beware that their sharp teeth can be your worst enemy if you are indeed bitten!

The Basilisk Lizard breed has razor shape style teeth that can be pretty painful if bitten into a human’s flesh.

By some chance or another and you find yourself in the situation of a Basilisk Lizard and his teeth, avoid aggressively pulling your hand out as they will most likely bite down harder!

Instead, relax your hand (or try to) and pour a few drops of vinegar into the mouth of the lizard. This will enable your hand to become released and you’ll be free.

Green Basilisks Handling

It’s extremely important to know how to handle a Green Basilisk properly as they can be naturally skittish creatures. One wrong move and you may find yourself in the mouth of your lizard (which will definitely hurt and may end badly for them)…


– Picking/holding your lizard for too long

– Sticking your hands around their mouth for long periods

– Annoying them

– Giving them a lack of space/keeping them enclosed full-time


Bond with them, building trust up gradually

Gently hold them while putting them back down briefly afterward

Provide a safe space for them

Caress their backs/head/bellies (once trust has been established)

Remember, start gently and slowly. Don’t automatically pick them up once you’ve arrived home from the pet shop.

Give them space and time to get use to you. Attempting to make contact verbally on a daily basis, while slowly introducing human touch every so often.

Are Green Basilisk Lizards Nocturnal?

Green Basilisk Lizards are not nocturnal, instead, they are diurnal creatures, meaning they are active throughout the day and rest during the night time.

Are Green Basilisk Lizards Social?

For the most part, Green Basilisk Lizards can be social creatures but more often than not, prefer to be alone.

Sociable within their species, avoid mixing two different breeds (such as a Green Basilisk Lizard and a leopard gecko) especially within the same cage.

This is because most Basilisk Lizards (especially males) are extremely territorial and you risk the chance of your two lizards fighting each other to death. Female Basilisk’s also follow the same tendencies, thus, avoid keeping them together for a long period.

If you do have two or more Lizards that you’re eager to socialize, you can avoid this complication completely, simply by placing the two creatures together for outdoor activities or during their playtime and putting them back into their separate housing after a few hours.

Build this trust up within each other gradually, starting by 1 hour a day and so forth.

You shouldn’t need to worry too much if your lizards are babies, however, you’ll still want to introduce them to one another slowly, taking precaution.

How Fast Can a Green Basilisk Lizard Run On Water?

Our commonly known Green Basilisk Lizard is not only gazed for their beautiful colored bodies, but their super-animal abilities to run on water too!

The Green Basilisk Lizard (also referred to as The Jesus Christ Lizard) can run as fast as 15mph (25 kph) while on water.

Younger Green Basilisk Lizards can run anywhere from 10 – 20 meters before sinking into the water, (further than an adult size lizard) due to their lighter body mass and weight.

Fun Fact: The Basilisk Lizard can remain underwater for 10 – 30 minutes before taking its first breath.

Care of Green Basilisks

Caring for a Green Basilisk Lizard is a beautiful experience, nothing like caring for a common household pet such as a cat or dog.

They’re vibrant colored creatures that have been around for many, many years. With a natural love to roam and explore, taking care of a green basilisk can become an easy and worthwhile experience for you if you do your research before-hand.

The necessities you’ll need to consider when caring for a Green Basilisk is their Temperament, Cage Size, Diet (Food & Water), Proper Heating and Humidity, Lighting as well as their Reproduction System.

The Temperament of Green Basilisks

The Green Basilisk’s natural temperament can vary from skittish, aggressive or territorial.

Usually, wild-caught Green Basilisk’s have this type of nature, however, they can be tamed to become less aggressive and more relaxed.

Although highly unusual for anyone other than a reptilian professional to have the ability to tame a wild animal, it is not completely uncommon and should be done so carefully if you’re a “first-timer”.

If purchasing a domesticated lizard, you can expect them to be slightly anxious, reserved and active. The best thing you can do is avoid holding your lizard for too long, especially if you’ve recently introduced it to your home.

Cage Size

When you first purchase your Green Basilisk, you’ll need to either purchase a suitable cage at the time or beforehand.

Depending on the age of your lizard will determine how large you need your cage to be.

For babies, you can get away with purchasing a 20-gallon tank. However, beware that as they grow (and they grow rapidly) you’ll need to invest in a larger tank. In this instance, it may be better to purchase a larger one up-front.

The most common and suitable size tank for an adult Basilisk lizard should be at least 40-gallon minimum. When it comes to cage sizes, the bigger the better and you’ll create no harm if you decide to purchase a 55 gallon or larger tank for a single lizard.

If you’re purchasing two or more Green Basilisk Lizards and prefer to keep them in the same tank, you should opt for purchasing a 75-gallon tank or larger.

Green Basilisk Lizards require plenty of areas to roam freely throughout their day, which means the larger cage you can afford, the better off your scaly friend will be.

Food & Water

A Green Basilisk Lizard is an omnivore creature, meaning they eat a variety of plants, vegetables, fruits, and even insects.

What To Eat:

Providing a variety of foods to your Basilisk is fine (moderately) and often encouraged. Foods you can feed your lizard are:

  • Crickets
  • Roaches
  • Earthworms
  • Plenty of water!
  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Kiwifruit
  • Blueberries
  • Carrots
  • Lettuce

Remember to avoid over-feeding your lizard and incorporate vegetables and fruits into their diets as treats only.

How Much to Feed & How Often to Feed?

As long as you’re feeding your reptile, you can’t go wrong, right? WRONG.

Just like humans, over-feeding can become a huge problem in the future for our health, thus,  with animals try to veer away from this habit.

When it comes to Basilisk’s or most Lizard’s in general, feeding small portions of insects or vegetables can keep them going for 2 – 3 days, considering they have plenty of water to drink in between.

Once you get used to your Green Basilisk, you’ll quickly be able to identify how much food they can eat and how quickly.


  1. Start with small portions (Insects, Fruit, Veggies)
  2. Observe them eating for at least 15 minutes
  3. Identify if you should provide more food or less food next time
  4. Feed them daily, once – twice a day with small portions (Or once every two days with large portions)
  5. Never leave left over insects inside their tank!

Heating & Humidity

All breeds of lizards need some type of heating, especially Green Basilisk Lizards;

When purchasing your lizard cage, don’t forget to invest in adequate heating to go on top. Examples such as a heating pad or an under tank heater both work fantastically in keeping your little guy warm throughout the day and night.

You may also want to purchase a humidity thermometer gauge to keep track of the humidity inside of your lizard’s tank.

If you can’t find suitable heating and humidity tools online, pop into your local pet store and speak with a customer service representative to help you find the perfect gadgets for your reptile.


Similar to heating and humidity, it’s important to invest in high-quality lighting for your lizard. Most reptiles require lighting to aid them in their day-night cycle as well as lowering any anxiety during the night-time.

Items such as the REPTI ZOO Light Fixture or the Zacro Heat Lamp with Thermometer are great for providing light for your lizard.


If your female Basilisk becomes pregnant, or if you’re thinking about breeding, it’s good to be aware of their reproduction cycle.

Once your female lizard has bred, you can expect her to start showing as little as one week afterward.

When it’s time to give birth, expect her to lay between 10 – 20 eggs at one time. Of course, however, this will all depend on her health, size, and age before being bred. From 10 weeks onwards, the eggs will hatch over a period of a few days.

Female Basilisk Lizards can become pregnant multiple times throughout the year and you should consider this fact if you have no intentions of breeding.

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