Basilisk Lizard Care Guide – Diet, Lifespan & More

green Basilisk Lizard

Who wouldn’t love to have these calm and emerald shaded creatures around?

With their yellowish neon eyes, these green lizards radiate timeless brilliance.

These are usually referred to as the classical enigmas of the tropical rainforest. No wonder these reptiles are commonly depicted as legendary beasts who can make you stand still with its gaze.

Let’s find out how to care for these creatures through this post.

Basilisk Lizards are long and thin reptiles that roam the tropical rainforests of Central America. They are usually seen in huge numbers near dense forests along vast waterways. At times you can find them on treetops as high as 50 feet. However, they prefer to stay closer to water bodies to escape danger or for hunting purposes. These cold-blooded species depend on the heat emitted from their natural habitat. 


These species are mainly obtained from private breeders, but the demand is quite low. It is due to the stigma that these lizards are hard to manage and rarely thrive. With greenish-blue shades filled with dark stripes till the tail, makes them stand out. The young ones are skittish and are dull-colored compared to adults. Look out for toe and mouth disease when you buy them. 

Basilisk Lizard’s Size

As part of the iguana species, these lizards grow up to 24 to 36 inches in length. This includes their long and fancy tail as well. Male species have unique, high crests on their backs and heads. They use these to attract and impress the female reptiles.

Basilisk Lizard Lifespan

The average life span of these green basilisk reptiles is 8 to 12 years. Hence you can keep them with you for longer durations. 

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Basilisk Lizard Care Guide

1. Housing

The ideal cage size for this species is 48-inch x 36-inch x 24 inches. As you are taming a wild animal, the enclosure has to mimic the scenario of the wild. For this, heat is an important criterion that tops the list. It is because these pets do not emit any body heat by itself. 

Placing them in a wooden vivarium would be the right option to maintain the correct temperature. Equipped with glass on one end and bright lights, you can view your pet always. Vivariums are also used in zoos to keep these creatures. The wooden material helps retain heat inside the enclosure.

Since these creatures love to climb, see to it that you place branches inside the cage. Try to obtain that from a local pet market as they are ideal for your pet’s enclosure. This will offer them a feel of the natural environment when you bring them home. Other climbing items include artificial plants and rocks. During night time they prefer dark spaces. As for the day, they enjoy climbing and basking in the heat.

Avoid placing two males in a single enclosure. Or else it may result in considerable fights to show superiority. You can keep a couple together or a few females with one male in a cage. 

2. Substrates

Wooden bedding would act as the best substrate for this species. You can also place bark wood chips or beech wood chips. Any small or light items like sand or wood shavings will work fine. Or else they may ingest it through their food, causing health issues or distress to the reptile. 

Change the substrate every 3 wks or at least once in a month. To maintain proper sanitation, inspect the enclosure daily for spot cleaning. Dead insects and droppings must be removed daily. As you change the substrate, clean the cage well using a disinfectant.

3. Humidity

Basilisks thrive well in a humid and hot environment. To maintain the humidity level, you can spray water into the vivarium daily. A light mist similar to a morning dew will do the job.

4. Heating and Lighting

Since these lizards can’t control the body temperature, they may spend too much time basking in the sun. Too much heat may result in grave dangers. Maintain one end at a cooler temperature and the other at warmer temperatures. This ensures a proper night and day arrangement. 

Always watch out for the temperature within the cage so that your pet is secure. Make sure the bulb does not become too hot. Place a ceramic heater guard to avoid getting burnt. For safety, keep the bulbs in a lamp holder. 

The ideal temperature is around 80°F during dating. Put extra heating; you can place spot bulbs and UVB lighting. These green lizards use the UVB lights to make vitamin D. Without this; they would not be able to absorb calcium. 

Basilisk Lizard

4. Basilisk Lizard Food

Basilisks love meat and are carnivores in nature. It means feeding them with live insects. You will also find that the primary diet mainly contains crickets. You can also provide them with locusts, wax worms, and mealworms

Insects offer the best nutrition for your green lizard. Hence you have to feed these insects with a rich diet. Providing supplements like Nutrobal balances the vitamin and mineral content in the diet. You can sprinkle this powder onto the insects before giving them to the lizards. 

5. Water

Although they are commonly known as dry animals and thrive in dry climates, water is essential for their survival. These basilisks love being around water sources. You can place a deep water dish inside their enclosure.

The reptile can use this for drinking and wetting themselves. It acts as a perfect water hole to get a dip during the hot seasons. Remember to change the water regularly. 

6. Handling the Basilisk Lizard

These green lizards are not interested in being handled. They tend to get agitated quite quickly. Although they do not show any aggressive behavior, when threatened, they may attack similar to other species. You can handle them gently, but remember to put them back in their enclosure when they’re agitated. Also, avoid excessive handling. 

One of the best experience of having a pet lizard is you get to bond well with them. Your smell, sound, and touch will be unfamiliar to them initially. Allow them to get used to the new environment before you touch them. After a week or so, you can take them out from their cage and try handling them. 

Having a pet reptile at home brings immense joy and pleasure. They also offer great companionship for years. For more information, drop your queries in the comments below. 

All the best for your new pet shopping! 

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