Basilisks come in a number of species and range in color from brown to green to blue. They can be very striking looking and can be very rewarding pets given the proper care. In general, Basilisks tend to be flighty creatures and do not enjoy being handled. They are known as the Jesus lizard for their unique ability to run on the surface of water. They do this by running upright at great speeds, trapping tiny air bubbles underneath the toes of their back feet essentially skating on the surface of the water. These are diurnal animals, so they are active during the day. They require UVB lighting in order to properly metabolize their food and build strong bones. Without it they can fall victim to MBD, a life threatening metabolic disease. Basilisks also require ample swimming space in addition to roaming room. The average adult basilisk will require a minimum of a 75 gallon tank, with time outside the enclosure to exercise. If the animal does not leave its enclosure it should be given a minimum of 4' x 4' x 2' to provide ample space to move. Some are prone to rubbing their noses on the sides of glass enclosures which can cause wounds. Apply Reptanicals Sore Snouts to heal damage, and consider placing something solid on the sides of the enclosure so the walls are visible.
Basilisks are climbers in addition to swimmers and appreciate a variety of branches and vines large enough to support their body weight. Reptile nets and ladders and wall feeding platforms are also readily used. Males can become aggressive and should not be housed together. Shedding problems typically only arise from inadequate humidity or hydration. A swim area large enough for the basilisk to fully submerge and twice the body length is preferable. Foggers can be used to increase or maintain humidity in screen top aquariums. Basilisks benefit from having bio-active terrariums. The live plants provide additional moisture and enrichment while springtails and isopods clean up mold and decaying matter such as uneaten pieces of feeder insects and their uneaten vegetable scraps and food. Need isopods and springtails? Reptanicals Cleaner Crews provide both in one easy kit!
Size: 2-3 ft (70-75% of total length is tail)
Lifespan: 20-30 years
Food Preferences: crickets, mealworms, superworms, dubia roaches, red runner roaches, waxworms (as occasional treats). Adults may eat pinky mice or fish
Temperature Requirements: daytime 85-95*F on warm side and 75-85* on cool side of the enclosure, night time temps can drop about ten degrees
Lighting: UVB 5.0 - 12 hours a day
Breeding: Can be difficult, largely not done in captivity due to high number of cheaply imported wild-caught specimen in pet trade
Substrate: 2-3" soil and coconut coir mix*
*If not provided ample water to swim in, these animals can easily stress in captivity and be prone to obsessive digging or rubbing behaviors. This can lead to a number of ailments such as eye-infections (due to substrate in eyes), open wound on snouts from rubbing, and head abrasions from burrowing under decor or rubbing on screen lids.
Suggested Products: Reptanicals Sore Snouts, Reptanicals Shed Support, Isopod Cleaner Crews, fossil feeder dish