With piercing, neon yellow eyes against a canvas of brilliant emerald green, the plumed or green basilisk is both feared and revered as one of the tropical rain forest’s classic natural enigmas. With such brilliance and timeless beauty, it’s no wonder this creature stays the power of legend like the fictitious reptilian beast for which it was named, believed by some to turn one to stone with just a passing gaze! Respected throughout the ages and still today, some native Indians believe the modern-day basilisk possesses fantastic powers.
Their colors are intense shades of electric green, typically patterned with white, yellow or bluish scattered specks, and may even be found in uniform shades of yellowish green or powder blue, with little or no pattern.
This species is sexually dimorphic, and the male Basiliscus plumifrons, dressed with a pair of high cranial crests and vertebral sails that run the length of the body and the tail, is without question dressed to impress! Soft in appearance, the basilisk’s vertebral crests are actually ridged to the touch, affording some degree of protection against predators, and they likely serve as a means of thermal regulation by diffusing heat.