Friday, 4 March 2016

Green Basilisk

     I have been kept inside these past few days with a really awful cold or a mild case of influenza, I can't quite make up my mind which; either way it's miserable!
    It was quite therapeutic to scan through the pictures recently taken in Costa Rica and this Green Basilisk Basilicus plumifrons really caught my eye. Not a bird to be sure, but a very interesting organism and a discovery to be cherished.



     Many people know this species by the vernacular name Jesus Christ Lizard, referring to its ability to walk on water. Seems to me this is not such a big deal, my wife often tells me that I am skating on thin ice!
     This individual is a male, evidenced by the prominent sail-like crest on the head, and the crest along the dorsal ridge and the tail. The blue throat, which is clearly visible, indicates that it is in mating readiness. The blue and white spots along the sides and back are also prominent.




     This species (20cm total length) was actually quite common along the canals of Tortuguero but it was not always easy to see, especially against a backdrop of greenery.



     It accomplishes the feat of "walking on water" by running across the surface of the water on its hind legs. Moveable flaps of skin on the sides of each toe increase the surface area of the feet. Basilisks run extremely quickly and can cross small bodies of water without sinking. If they do start to sink they revert to swimming, being excellent swimmers also.
     I have seen them scamper across the water but due to their speed I have never been able to capture a picture of them doing so. 
     It is in all respects a fascinating creature and well worthy of noting on any trip to areas where it may be found.



36 comments:

  1. It's a beauty, David. What a great colors, the one I photographed recently in a Zoo has the same name but not the colors....
    Gr Jan W

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    1. There are several other species of basilisk, Jan, and even in this species the female is not so grand.

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  2. Green Basilisk. Pretty awesome lizard. Stunning pictures. Happy weekend.

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  3. That crest makes him look quite fearsome but I guess he will run rather than attack as out lizards do here. Lovely photos of a lizard I have never seen before. Thanks for sharing. Diane

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  4. Love to see one of these,stunning looking Lizard,sorry to hear that you are under the weather hope you make a full recovery.
    John.

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    1. Thanks John, I think I am a tad better today.

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  5. wow! looks like a little dinosaur :) Cool!

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  6. Hello David!:) He is a beautiful lizard, but looks quite angry in your last shot!:) Congrats on getting nearly all his tail in image number one,...I always find this a difficult thing to achieve with lizards.Hope you have fully recovered from the pesky flu.

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  7. Oh wath a funny lizard ;-à
    Splendid picture David, thank's for this discovery

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  8. Quite the expressive face!

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  9. Great looking lizard, wouldn't like to find one in my room though.............

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  10. I think I might have the same sick feeling that you have!

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  11. Hope you feel better soon. Photos are indeed very therapeutic. This is a marvelous lizard. I have seen nature shows where they do seem to walk on water. One of nature's many wonders. Great photos!

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  12. Dearest David,
    Too bad you are not yet feeling like your usual self! Hope you soon get to feel better.
    This is a remarkable Lizard and I love its face, he looks very cute and his eyes in the last photo are incredible. Great shot. Their hind feet are proportionally very large!
    Hugs and sending you some Georgia sunshine.
    Mariette

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  13. Hi David.

    This is a beautiful animal.
    Beautiful pictures.
    And wished speedy recovery.

    Groettie frome Patricia.

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  14. Sorry to hear you've been ill, David. I hope that Miriam has escaped your germs, and that you are now recovering.

    That Basilisk has to be one of the most spectacular lizards on the planet! Super captures of it with your camera. If people saw one of these you can imagine where the concept of dragons came from.

    Get well soon - - - Richard

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  15. Hello David,
    Fantastic pictures. Great how you've photograph this Basilisk.
    A beautiful animal. Great!!

    Greetings, Marco

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  16. Espectacular el Green Basilisk, vaya cara de mala persona que tiene, jajaja. Preciosas fotos David, me han gustado mucho. Un fuerte abrazo desde España.

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  17. I would not like to see this little green "beast" on the hoof, shivers already the thought (we don't have any like this).
    But the photos are very beautiful.

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  18. Beautiful Reptile, wonderful images.

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  19. Heisann!
    Thank you so much for the nice comment on my blog. I enjoyed my trip to Cuba, but the poorness and the decay made deplorable impression to me, so I felt a bit sad in the beginning. But we had experiences and adventures as well as you can see from my photos, some have bad quality - still I present them, because they show a bit of the diversity and what to discover. Have I nice trip to this remarkable island in the Caribbean. ;:OD)

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  20. Beautiful shots. What an amazing creature, definitely much fancier and more interesting than the lizards that hang out in my yard (and occasionally in my house)!

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  21. lizard looks like a small dinosaur.

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  22. Hi David, Some wonderful image of the Green Basilisk, sounds a most interesting creature and most certainly very colourful. Heard the Barn Owls last night.
    Sorry you are feeling under the weather, hopefully on the mend. Regards. John

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  23. I hope you're feeling much better by now. They are fascinating to watch, aren't they? I only saw a brownish one, so nice to see the green.

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  24. Hello David,
    sorry to read that you were sick with the flu. Unfortunately many people affected by the flu. I hope you now feel again what beterder :-)

    Dezae pictures are wonderful. What a beautiful animal and what a great beautiful intense green color. And euhhh ... you vrow is right in its judgment? Nice to read lol .....

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  25. Great pictures of this Jesus Christ lizard!!
    Yes, I remember seeing footage about it, it is so fast over water that one can only film it.
    I like what Miriam says bout you!!! She might be quite right! LOL!!
    Things are finally looking brighter about the sale of the property, I will keep posted when it all gets into place :)
    Keep well and share my best wishes with dear Miriam :)

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  26. I hope you get well soon, David. My husband and I suffer from the same. Your pictures are great and the lizard is amazing. It must have been fantastic to see them with your own eyes. Greetings, Joke

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  27. All lizards are fascinating to me, but this one even more than all the rest. Beautiful pictures -- I can see his lizardy eye -- which always fascinates me.

    I hope you're back to full speed soon and out walking on the water again .. or at least skating on thin ice.

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  28. Such an amazing colour and your pictures are spot on David. I agree that lizards are just fascinating creatures but of course I see very few in the UK and only when I travel abroad to warmer climes do my sightings increase.

    My commiserations about your bout of flu/common cold. I recently suffered in silence the same misery with my annual post Christmas/New Year spell of the dreaded Man Flu. Naturally enough any sympathy was hard to find.

    I am impressed with your recent warm weather and have decided to take up your offer of moving to Ontario. I trust you will prepare your finest spare room and furnish it with all the essentials of life for my imminent arrival. ( I prefer red wine). Do please ensure that I am not exposed to any nasty lingering viruses which might spoil my several months stay.

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    1. I prefer red wine too so obviously we'll get along just fine together.

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  29. Good capture, never seen one up close before.
    Hope you are over your cold and flu.

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  30. I really like the green Basilisk. It is very sympathetic. Regards.

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  31. How amazing....this guy is something else!

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