One thing about reptiles is the fact that their habitats can make stunning centerpieces. This is definitely the case with the Green basilisk, a pretty lizard that originated in Central America. A Covington, GA veterinarian discusses caring for these stunning lizards below.
Green basilisks are quite striking: they’re vibrant green or blue-green, and the males sport elegant plumes that run down their backs. They live 8-12 years, on average, but can make it to 15 with good care. A fun fact about them? They’re also called Jesus Christ lizards. They got this nickname because their feet have hydrophobic scales that allow them to run over water.
Adult Green basilisks can be 3 feet long, so you’ll need a habitat that’s at least 4’ x 2’ x 3’. (Tip: wood-based vivariums are an attractive option.) Choose something with several vents and sliding doors. This helps keep temperatures stable. For decoration, you can add different tall and trailing plants, hardwood items, slate or other natural rocks, reptile caves, grapevines, and/or cork oak branches. These will offer your reptilian buddy a variety of places for climbing, basking, hiding, and exploring. They also make the habitat look beautiful!
Like many other reptiles, basilisks need very specific conditions as far as heat, light, and humidity. This is not one of the easier lizards to keep, as their habitats require both precise setup and careful monitoring. One end of the vivarium should stay around 90 to 95F during the day. It can be cooler at night. The other side can be about room temperature. Your scaled pal will also need a basking lamp, which should stay on for about 10 to 12 hours a day. Ask your vet for setup advice.
Green basilisks are omnivores, so their diets should include both meat and veggies. They prefer meat. Live insects, such as crickets, are the go-to here. You can offer waxworms, grubs, and, for adults, mealworms and cockroaches, about twice a week. You’ll need to dust the bugs with calcium and vitamin supplements. Ask your veterinarian for specific recommendations.
Basilisks like to soak, which helps with shedding, hygiene, and keeping cool. Offer your tiny dinosaur a large bowl of water. Keep this on the cooler side of the tank, so it doesn’t evaporate.
Do you have questions about green basilisks? Contact us, your Covington, GA veterinarians, today!