Basilisks as a Passion

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Basilisks, also known as the Jesus lizard, are fascinating creatures that have captured the hearts of many reptile enthusiasts. With their unique physical characteristics and intriguing behavior, it’s no wonder that keeping basilisks as a hobby has become increasingly popular.

Understanding basilisks is the first step towards becoming a successful keeper. Basilisks are a type of forest lizard that can be found in tropical regions of North and South America. They are known for their ability to run on water, which has earned them the nickname “Jesus lizard.” Basilisks are omnivores and require a varied diet that includes both plant material and insects.

If you’re interested in keeping basilisks as a hobby, it’s important to understand their history and significance in mythology and modern culture. Basilisks have been featured in various legends and folklore throughout history, often as a symbol of power or danger. In modern culture, they have been popularized in movies, video games, and other forms of media. By learning about basilisks in these contexts, you can gain a deeper appreciation for these fascinating creatures.

Key Takeaways

  • Understanding basilisks is crucial for successful keeping.
  • Basilisks have a rich history in mythology and modern culture.
  • Keeping basilisks as a hobby can be a rewarding and fascinating experience.

Understanding Basilisks

Basilisks are a genus of lizards that are commonly known as the Jesus Christ lizard or simply the Jesus lizard. They are native to southern Mexico, Central America, and northern South America. Basilisks are fascinating creatures that have captured the attention of many hobbyists and enthusiasts due to their unique characteristics. In this section, we will explore the basics of understanding basilisks as pets.

Physical Characteristics

Basilisks are known for their unique ability to run across water for significant distances before sinking due to their large surface area of their feet. They have a slender and compressed body from side to side, a long and whiplike tail, and the rear of the head is extended into a flat lobe like a cock. The males have a crest running from the head to the tail, which is absent in females.

Habitat and Environment

Basilisks are arboreal lizards that require a warm and humid environment. They prefer to live in tropical rainforests, near rivers, streams, and other water sources. In captivity, they need a spacious and well-ventilated terrarium with a basking spot, a hiding place, and a water source. The temperature should range from 80 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and drop to 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit during the night.

Diet and Feeding

Basilisks are omnivorous lizards that feed on a variety of insects, fruits, and vegetables. In captivity, they can be fed a diet of crickets, mealworms, waxworms, and other insects, along with fresh fruits and vegetables. It is essential to provide them with a balanced and nutritious diet to ensure their health and well-being.

Behavior and Temperament

Basilisks are active and curious lizards that require a lot of space to move around. They are known for their aggressive behavior towards other lizards, especially males during the breeding season. However, they can be tamed with proper handling and care. It is essential to provide them with enough hiding places and climbing structures to reduce stress and promote natural behavior.

In conclusion, understanding basilisks as pets requires knowledge of their physical characteristics, habitat and environment, diet and feeding, and behavior and temperament. With proper care and attention, basilisks can make fascinating and rewarding pets for hobbyists and enthusiasts.

History of Basilisks

Basilisks are a fascinating species of lizards that have captured the attention of humans for centuries. Here’s a brief overview of the history of basilisks:

  • Ancient mythology: The basilisk has a long history in mythology, dating back to ancient Greece and Rome. In these cultures, the basilisk was often depicted as a fearsome creature with the power to kill with a single glance.

  • Medieval bestiaries: During the medieval period, bestiaries were popular books that described various animals and their supposed characteristics. Basilisks were often included in these books, and were described as being able to kill with their breath or gaze.

  • Scientific discovery: In the 16th century, European explorers began to encounter basilisks in the New World. The first scientific description of a basilisk was published in 1758 by the Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus, who named the species Basiliscus plumifrons.

  • Pop culture: Basilisks have also made appearances in popular culture, including in the Harry Potter series and in the video game World of Warcraft.

Despite their fearsome reputation, basilisks are actually fascinating creatures that are well worth studying and appreciating.

Basilisks in Mythology

Greek Mythology

In Greek mythology, basilisks were often associated with the god Apollo. It was said that Apollo had a sacred serpent named Python, which was killed by the god’s arrows. From the blood of Python, a new creature was born – the basilisk. According to legend, the basilisk was a small serpent with a crown-like crest on its head. It had the power to kill with a single glance, and its venom was said to be deadly.

Roman Mythology

In Roman mythology, the basilisk was also a creature of great power and danger. It was said to be born from an egg laid by a seven-year-old rooster and hatched by a toad. The basilisk was described as a serpent with a rooster’s head and wings. Its gaze was said to be so powerful that it could turn people to stone, and its breath could kill plants.

Despite the fearsome reputation of basilisks in mythology, they continue to be a fascinating subject for enthusiasts and hobbyists. From the ancient legends of Greece and Rome to modern-day fantasy and science fiction, the basilisk has captured the imaginations of people throughout history.

Basilisks in Modern Culture

Basilisks have been a part of human folklore for centuries and continue to fascinate people today. These mythical creatures have made appearances in various forms of modern culture, including literature, film, and video games.

In the Harry Potter series, the basilisk is a major antagonist in the second book, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. The basilisk is depicted as a giant serpent with deadly venom and the power to petrify anyone who looks into its eyes. The creature is ultimately defeated by Harry Potter with the help of a phoenix.

Basilisks have also made appearances in various video games, including the popular game Minecraft. In Minecraft, the basilisk is a hostile mob that can be found in the Nether dimension. The creature is depicted as a snake-like creature with wings and the ability to shoot fireballs.

In addition to their appearances in popular culture, basilisks have also inspired various works of art. The Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci famously drew a sketch of a basilisk in the 16th century, and the creature has been depicted in various forms of art throughout history.

Overall, basilisks continue to capture the imaginations of people today and remain a popular subject in modern culture.

Basilisks as a Hobby

If you’re looking for a fascinating and unique hobby, consider getting involved with basilisks! These amazing creatures are not only beautiful to look at, but they also have a lot of interesting behaviors and characteristics that make them a joy to observe and care for.

Basilisk Collecting

One popular aspect of the basilisk hobby is collecting different species of these lizards. With four species to choose from, there is plenty of variety to keep collectors engaged and interested. Some collectors focus on finding rare or unusual color morphs, while others enjoy tracking down specimens from different regions or habitats.

When collecting basilisks, it’s important to ensure that you are obtaining them from reputable sources and that they are legal to own in your area. It’s also crucial to provide appropriate housing and care for your animals, as basilisks have specific needs that must be met in order for them to thrive.

Basilisk Art

Another way to enjoy basilisks as a hobby is through art. These lizards make fantastic subjects for paintings, drawings, and sculptures. Their unique physical characteristics and behaviors provide endless inspiration for artists of all skill levels.

Whether you’re a professional artist or just starting out, there are plenty of ways to incorporate basilisks into your art. Consider creating a series of sketches or paintings that showcase the different species of basilisks, or try sculpting a lifelike replica of one of these fascinating lizards.

Overall, basilisks make a wonderful hobby for anyone who is interested in reptiles, art, or just looking for something new and exciting to explore. With their stunning beauty and intriguing behaviors, these lizards are sure to provide endless hours of enjoyment and fascination.

Care and Maintenance of Basilisk Collections

Keeping a basilisk collection requires attention to detail and a good understanding of their needs. Here are some tips to help you maintain a healthy and happy basilisk collection:


Basilisks require a spacious and secure enclosure. A glass terrarium or a custom-built wooden enclosure with a screened top can provide the necessary space and security. The enclosure should be at least 4 feet long, 2 feet wide, and 4 feet tall. Provide plenty of hiding places, climbing structures, and basking spots. A substrate of coconut coir or cypress mulch can help maintain humidity levels.

Temperature and Lighting

Basilisks require a basking spot with a temperature of 90-95°F and a cooler area with a temperature of 75-80°F. Use a basking lamp and a UVB lamp to provide heat and light. A timer can help regulate the lighting schedule and ensure that the basilisks get enough rest.


Basilisks are omnivorous and require a varied diet of insects, fruits, and vegetables. Feed them crickets, mealworms, waxworms, and other insects. Offer them fresh fruits and vegetables such as kale, collard greens, carrots, and berries. Supplement their diet with calcium and vitamin D3 to prevent metabolic bone disease.


Maintaining a clean and hygienic enclosure is essential for the health of your basilisk collection. Remove feces and uneaten food daily. Clean and disinfect the enclosure regularly. Use a reptile-safe disinfectant and rinse thoroughly to avoid any residue.


Regular health checks and veterinary visits can help prevent and treat any health issues. Look out for signs of illness such as lethargy, loss of appetite, abnormal behavior, and respiratory problems. Quarantine any sick or new animals to prevent the spread of disease.

By following these tips, you can provide your basilisk collection with the care and maintenance they need to thrive.

Creating a Basilisk Community

As a passionate basilisk hobbyist, you may want to connect with other enthusiasts to share your experiences and learn from one another. Here are some tips on how to create a basilisk community:

1. Join online forums and groups

There are many online forums and groups dedicated to reptile enthusiasts, including basilisk owners. Joining these groups can be a great way to connect with other hobbyists, share photos and stories, and ask for advice.

2. Attend reptile shows and events

Attending reptile shows and events can be a fun way to meet other enthusiasts and learn more about basilisks. These events often feature vendors selling a variety of reptiles and supplies, as well as seminars and workshops on reptile care and breeding.

3. Start a local club

If you’re interested in meeting other basilisk owners in your area, consider starting a local club. You can advertise your club on social media and online forums, and hold regular meetings where members can share their experiences and learn from one another.

4. Organize group outings

Organizing group outings to reptile shows, zoos, and other events can be a fun way to connect with other enthusiasts and learn more about basilisks. You can also organize field trips to observe basilisks in their natural habitats.

5. Share your knowledge

As a passionate basilisk hobbyist, you likely have a wealth of knowledge and experience to share with others. Consider writing articles or blog posts about your experiences, or hosting workshops and seminars to teach others about basilisk care and breeding.

By following these tips, you can create a thriving basilisk community and connect with other enthusiasts who share your passion for these fascinating reptiles.


In conclusion, basilisks are fascinating creatures that can make for an enjoyable hobby or passion. Whether you are interested in their physical characteristics, behavior, or mythology, there is something for everyone to explore.

If you are considering keeping basilisks as pets, it is important to do your research and ensure that you can provide them with the proper care and environment they need to thrive. This includes providing them with a spacious enclosure, a varied diet, and the appropriate temperature and humidity levels.

For those who are more interested in studying basilisks in the wild, there are many opportunities to observe them in their natural habitat. However, it is important to respect their space and not disturb them or their environment.

Overall, whether you are a hobbyist or a passionate enthusiast, there are many ways to explore and appreciate the world of basilisks. With their unique characteristics and fascinating history, they are sure to provide endless hours of enjoyment and learning.

I Love Basilisks

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Frequently Asked Questions About Basilisks

Is it hard to get started with Basilisks?

Getting started with Basilisks can be challenging for beginners, as it requires a lot of knowledge and experience to handle these reptiles properly. You need to learn about their habitat, diet, and behavior to ensure they are healthy and happy in captivity. However, with proper research and guidance from experienced keepers, you can get started with Basilisks successfully.

Is Basilisks a hobby?

Yes, keeping Basilisks as pets is a popular hobby among reptile enthusiasts. Many people find these lizards fascinating and enjoy learning about their behavior and care requirements. However, it’s important to remember that keeping Basilisks requires a significant commitment of time, effort, and money to provide them with proper care.

Why do people love Basilisks?

People love Basilisks for their unique appearance, behavior, and intelligence. These lizards are known for their impressive running and swimming abilities, as well as their ability to change color depending on their mood and surroundings. They also have distinctive crests on their heads and backs, making them a visually striking addition to any reptile collection.

What do Basilisks eat?

Basilisks are omnivores, meaning they eat a variety of plant and animal matter. In the wild, their diet consists of insects, small rodents, fruits, and vegetation. As pets, they can be fed a diet of crickets, mealworms, fruits, and vegetables, as well as commercial reptile food. It’s important to provide a varied diet to ensure they receive all the necessary nutrients for good health.

How big do Basilisks get?

Basilisks can grow up to 3 feet in length, including their long tails. Males are typically larger than females and have more prominent crests on their heads and backs. It’s important to provide adequate space and a suitable habitat for these lizards to ensure they can move and behave naturally.


The Basilisks Challenge

Do you think you know everything about Basilisks? Test your knowledge and dive deeper into your passion with our fun and engaging 'Basilisks Quiz'! It’s not just about what you know—it’s about learning more and challenging yourself.

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