Why Are Lizards Not Seen In Winter?

Lizards are reptiles and like most reptiles, they are ‘cold-blooded’ or ‘ectotherms’. Coldblooded animals are those animals that cannot maintain their own body temperatures.

They are the same temperature as the atmosphere and so have difficulties in staying warm. They need an external heat source to maintain their body temperature.

‘Warm blooded’ creatures like humans and other mammals generate their own heat through various metabolic processes. This heat allows them to maintain a constant body temperature, no matter the temperature of the air outside..

When the temperature gets too high, lizards need to keep themselves warm or else they would freeze to death. This is because of their temperature changes with the environmental temperatures.

If it gets cold, they can become inactive and that would allow them to be easily attacked by predators. It also allows prey to easily escape as well. These behavioral changes due to minus temperatures can cost them their lives.

Thus, to avoid freezing to death, most lizards go underground to hibernate during the winter so they can stay safe and warm.

Underground temperatures are much higher than above and hence, the lizards spend their entire winter sleeping. This is why we do not see any lizards in the winter.

Some lizards do have cooling physiologies, while others prefer to migrate, however, in freezing temperatures, hibernation is their best bet.


If you live in temperate regions where temperatures often fluctuate between too hot and too cold, you might often wonder, “Where are all the lizards gone all of a sudden?” We often do! During summers, it seems like you are being invaded by an army of lizards in your house and your garden.

However, during winters, you might not find any. Or, you might find a few frozen outside or hiding in the soil. So, where do they go in winters? 

So, what’s actually happening is that they are hibernating! The popular cartoon shows only depict bears going into hibernation. However, that is far from the truth.

Many reptiles such as lizards, snakes, turtles go under hibernation during the winters. To help you educate yourself on the topic, we have compiled a list of frequently asked question about lizards and their hibernation patterns!

Where do Lizards Hibernate in the Winter?

Lizards normally choose to burrow themselves into the ground as the temperatures are much higher below. However, we believe where they choose to do so mainly depends on the area they are living in. Most geckos are found in tropical regions, while a few can be found in temperate regions.

Most geckos, like other smaller reptiles, hide in logs or under rocks if the temperatures are not too cold. If the temperatures are too cold, they might bury themselves deeper in caves, rocks or burrows to avoid freezing, which is called hibernacula.

These cave hibernacula maintain their temperature well above freezing at 40 degrees F.

However, not all geckos prefer the ground. Some arboreal lizards like to hide inside the trees as they provide them with better insulation to the cold. They prefer hiding in older trees which might be hollow from places. They can even hide under the bark of the tree if the temperatures are not too severe.

Lizards living in the tropical region do not have to bear too harsh winters, so they can hide at shallow depths and under barks or logs. However, those living in the more temperate regions might need to burrow deeper.

Do Lizards Die in Cold Weather?

Lizards can die due to extremely cold weather as their body is unable to sustain the temperature. Even in mildly cold weather, lizards tend to become inactive.

Their digestion slows down and their immune system stops functioning properly. This makes them more susceptible to infections and diseases. Lizards stop walking with their legs and lie on their bellies instead ().

They do not eat or drink and can become dehydrated easily. Their eyes and skin appear more wrinkly and can become dry and cracked. This is normally why you are required to place a basking lamp and regulate the temperature of your lizard’s tank so accurately. Otherwise, it could easily die if it gets too cold to function.

So, hibernating during the cold weather is not only essential, it is vital to these reptiles if they wish to survive.

Do Lizards Migrate or Hibernate?

In reality, lizards prefer to stay where they are, rather than migrating. But, true hibernation is really only seen in mammals, I will explain in more detail later.  

This is because it is easier to brumate to help regulate their body temperatures.

Brumating allows them to soak the sun up in the morning, becoming active through the day while sleeping through the colder night.

However, some lizards do prefer to migrate to warmer climates. The lizards that live in mountainous regions move to the lower areas when temperatures start freezing. Others may migrate from land areas to coastal areas where the sun is always shining.

What Exactly is Brumation?

Lets dig deeper into brumation. Brumation is a period of dormancy similar to hibernation. During brumation, the reptile becomes lethargic to the point that they may not move at all during winter.

Pet lizards will sometimes brumate, even if their owner dutifully keeps their tank nice and warm. Some lizards simply have an instinct to brumate in winter. You can tell your lizard is preparing to brumate through the following signs:

  • It becomes less active
  • Its appetite decreases markedly
  • It stops going to the bathroom
  • It sleeps more
  • It burrows under its substrate or hides under something

Understand that some of these signs can also indicate a sick lizard. This is especially true if it stops eating or defecating. In the latter case, you can try soaking it in warm water and rubbing its stomach to stimulate a bowel movement.

When the lizard does eventually poop, have the vet check the stool sample for parasites. It’s a good idea to make sure your lizard defecates one last time before entering brumation, so it doesn’t develop an infection.

What is the Difference Between Hibernation and Brumation?

Both hibernation and brumation are long periods of dormancy characterized by reduced activity and body temperature. A hibernating animal will sleep straight through, while a brumating animal will occasionally wake up.

Furthermore, a hibernating animal doesn’t need to drink water, while a brumating animal needs to drink from time to time to avoid dehydration.

As discussed earlier, true hibernation, however, is seen only in mammals, while brumation is seen in cold-blooded animals like reptiles. While mammals prepare by eating more to build up fat reserves, reptiles eat more to build up reserves of fat and a sugar called glycogen.

Reptiles use the glycogen to fuel their muscles, while the fat reserves go towards mating and reproduction. Glycogen also helps reptiles better tolerate the low oxygen levels they might find in their hibernaculum, particularly if said hibernaculum is underwater or in the mud.

Why do lizards brumate?

Lizards are ectotherms. As such, they can’t generate their own body heat and thus depend on the environment to provide it. During cold weather, the lizard doesn’t get enough body heat to function. It becomes lethargic and slow and is thus vulnerable to predators, and it is also less able to forage for food.

Brumation is, therefore, a survival mechanism that helps a lizard survive long periods of cold and inclement weather. During brumation, the reptile enters a state that is sometimes described as suspended animation. The lizard’s respiration and heart rates slow, and it doesn’t digest or excrete food.

Brumation also affects reproduction in reptiles. In most reptiles, cooler temperatures trigger sperm production in male lizards. It also causes physiological processes that prepare females for ovulation in the spring.

When do lizards brumate?

Generally speaking, lizards brumate when it becomes too cold for them keep up their energy. The length of time a lizard spends in brumation depends on a number of factors, such as the climate.

Lizards that live in the tropics often do not brumate at all, for example. Generally speaking, though, lizards enter brumation sometime in the late fall and emerge in the spring. In both cases, the lizard is responding to such stimuli as temperature, changes in barometric pressure, and length of days.

Tropical lizards, however, usually do not brumate. If you have a tropical lizard like an iguana that seems to be trying to brumate, you need to have it checked out by a vet, for it could be ill.

Can this behavior be simulated in captivity?

Some pet lizards will enter brumation on their own. No matter how nice and warm their tank is, many still retain the instinct to do so.

If your lizard does go into this state, you will have to make sure it doesn’t become dehydrated during its long sleep. You should also watch for signs of excessive weight loss; a healthy lizard shouldn’t lose more than a few grams during brumation. (One ounce equals a little more than 28 grams.)

You can also simulate conditions that encourage brumation by gradually reducing the heat and light in your lizard’s tank. At the same time, you should decrease the amount of food you give your lizard. You should not stimulate brumation in sick lizards or lizards that are under two years old.

Do lizards actually sleep?

Yes, lizards do sleep. Over the years, scientists have found that virtually all animals go through some form of sleep. In 2016, the journal “Science” published a study in which researchers determined that a species of bearded dragon (Pogona vitticeps) had sleep patterns surprisingly similar to that of humans.

The scientists placed electrodes on the lizards’ heads and recorded their brainwave patterns while they were sleeping. The results demonstrated that bearded dragons, like humans, go through REM (rapid-eye movement) sleep and slow-wave sleep. As humans dream during REM sleep, it’s possible that lizards also dream.

During previous studies, scientists had found that REM and slow-wave sleep occurred in birds and mammals, but not fish or amphibians and thus speculated that it was a comparatively recent evolutionary development. The study’s results suggest that slow-wave sleep and REM sleep may have developed earlier than previously believed.

How do you prepare a lizard for brumation?

Pet lizards will sometimes go into brumation. The lizard will need a hibernaculum or hide where it can sleep.

When the lizard starts showing signs that it might be about to go into brumation, take it the vet for a check-up. A lizard about to brumate should be at a healthy weight and in good shape; a sick lizard could die while brumating.

Keep the light and heat on for another two weeks after the lizard’s last meal to give it a chance to defecate one last time. Then remove the heat and light and keep the lizard in its tank at room temperature for another week. Then move it to the brumation room which should have temperatures between 50 and 68 degrees. Make sure there is fresh water available, so the lizard can have a drink when it wakes up.

Can Lizards Survive Freezing?

Lizards cannot survive freezing temperatures as it would cause their bodily fluids to freeze and they would become completely inactive. Their internal organs need some amount of heat to function and their muscles might become atrophied as well.

What is the Coldest Weather They Can Survive?

For most lizards, temperatures below 50 degrees F become too cold and at temperatures below 40 degrees, they go into hibernation or ‘sleep’. This is because these temperatures are too cold and their muscles tend to go stiff. They slow down their metabolic activities and do not hunt any longer.

So, if you own a pet reptile, we recommend you never let the temperature go below 50 degrees and never below 30 degrees, otherwise they could freeze to death.

What is the ideal Temperature for a Lizard?

Reptiles need a certain temperature which is called the Reptile’s preferred body temperature. They generally require temperatures that are not too high or low. They cannot change their temperature through metabolic activities.

SO, they try to gain heat from external sources. Some lizards shiver to generate heat while others prefer to bask in the sun. The environmental temperature range varies for each species of lizard. However, most of them prefer temperatures ranging from 70-90 degrees F.

They can survive lower or higher temperatures as well, but this is the range in which they are found to be most active.

This is why if you own a lizard, you need to set up precise temperatures and basking devices in the terrarium. Research your particular species and find which temperatures are best for them to thrive.

Do lizards prefer hot countries?

Needless to say, lizards prefer hotter countries where temperatures are more tropical or sub-tropical. This ensures they can stay more active throughout the year and eliminates the need to hibernate completely.

However, lizards cannot survive in climates that are too hot for them. In deserts or dry, arid areas where temperatures during the day can easily exceed 50 degrees C, lizards often bury themselves in cool soil or under rocks where temperatures tend to be much colder.

The process of burying oneself in the soil to get away from accumulating excess heat is called aestivation. In such cases, the temperature of the lizard’s body may become too high which can cause dehydration.

Why Do Reptiles Need Heat?

All reptiles whether they are turtles or lizards are cold-blooded or ectothermic. As we already explained before, they rely on external heat to sustain their body’s temperature. If the temperature is too low, they become inactive and can even die.

Heat is important as it helps them regulate their temperature and perform many metabolic reactions. This is why you find many lizards often bask under the sun in the morning.

They do so to stabilize their body temperature and then go on to carry out their daytime activities. They spread their bodies in such a way that they receive maximum sunlight.

As the body temperature increases, their muscles become more loose and limber, allowing them better hunting skills. 

What are the Advantages of Being Cold Blooded?

You might think that being warm-blooded has more advantages than being cold blooded. However, this is far from the truth. Warm-blooded animals rely on their metabolic activities to generate heat inside the body.

This requires constant feeding as food serves as a fuel for these activities. This is why most mammals need to eat every day.

Cold Blooded animals like lizards do not need such metabolic activities to generate heat. They can easily survive by feeding once in 3-4 days. This is why you will find more reptiles in areas where there is scarcely any food or water such as deserts.

They can even slow down their metabolism during hibernation. A turtle can slow his heartbeat to about one heartbeat in a minute. This is a crucial element in survival and helps them survive longer.


So, all in all, lizards need to hibernate to avoid dying. It is an ultimate survival move that helps them thrive. Their slower metabolisms ensure they do not need as much food as the mammals.

Now, you know where all these beautiful geckos go to. You might wonder, why you should know. As a gecko owner, you need to know every crucial detail about your pet. You should know why it requires all those basking lamps and what exactly will happen if you do not regulate the temperature properly!

We hope you found it interesting. If so, like, share and comment! We’d love to hear from you!

How Many Times Can A Lizard Regrow Its Tail?



Can all lizards regrow their tails?

No, not all lizards can regrow their tails. For example, the crested gecko can easily shed its tail but it will not grow back. Owners of crested geckos are cautioned to be very careful when handling them, cage them separately instead of in pairs or groups, and try not to expose them to loud noises or any other forms of stress in order to avoid scaring them into “dropping” their tails, because if it happens, you will be left with a permanently tailless liza​​​​rd.

Does it hurt the lizard to lose its tail?

Although we can never be sure what the lizard actually feels during the tail loss process, most people seem to think they don’t feel any actual pain.

However, losing a tail can subject a lizard to considerable stress because re-growing a tail consumes considerable amounts of energy, and many lizards store their fat in their tails. Most lizards don’t act normally during the regeneration process due to the stress of re-growth and the lack of balance due to the missing tail.

Can lizards regrow their limbs?

No, lizards cannot regrow lost limbs or even toes.

What is a lizard's tail made out of?

A lizard’s tail is an extension of its spine. The basic structure of the tail consists of a series of small bones called vertebrae that surround and protect the spinal cord. The tail can bend in many different ways because of the joints between each of the vertebrae.

The bulk of the tail is composed of muscles that act to move the tail in order to balance the lizard as it runs and climbs.

Some lizards use their tails as defensive or offensive weapons, rather like a whip. Some species of lizards, such as leopard geckos, also store fairly large amounts of fat in their tails that acts as an energy reserve when food is scarce; a gecko with a good store of fat in its tail can survive for up to 100 days without eating.

When it grows back, is it the same as the original?

Unfortunately, the new tail is often very different from the original tail. It may be shorter, thinner, and/or be a different color. However, the real differences can’t be seen because they are inside the tail. Unlike the original tail, which is composed of multiple bones, muscles, and skin, the new tail is made out of long tubes of cartilage instead of bone and abnormally long muscles stretching the length of the tail.

The re-growth process starts with a stub growing out of the lizard’s remaining tail and gradually elongates to form the new tail. Sometimes the change in color from the original can be startling. However, the new tail can be moved just like the original tail and functions like a normal tail. In some cases, the tail regeneration process does not work properly and strange things happen, like an abnormally shaped lump or

multiple tails forming.

Do all species have this ability?

Most but not all lizards can drop their tails, and some species that can drop their tails do not regrow them, like the crested gecko. The various types of monitor lizards, which tend to be large, carnivorous, and use their tails as weapons, cannot drop their tails, and if their tail is accidentally severed it will not grow back.


Most, but not all, types of lizards have the ability to shed part or all of their tail as a defense mechanism, when they are trying to escape their enemies. Although this can be traumatic for the lizard’s owner to observe, as I can attest (I totally panicked when it happened to my lizard) it is a natural process and most lizards readily re-grow a tail, although it may look somewhat different than the original tail.

Lizard owners can usually prevent tail-shedding by reducing the stress to their lizard, by being careful to not scare it during handling, and by slowly and carefully taming the lizard so that handling is not upsetting to the lizard. In addition, lizards kept in pairs or groups may fight and end up shedding their tails, so if you observe any signs of conflict between your lizards it may be best to house them separately.

If your lizard does drop its tail, it is important to make sure the lizard has plenty of highly nutritious food and optimal housing conditions to speed the healing process and watch in fascination as the lizard regrows its tail (Click here to see the lizard that bites its own tail, and why?). I hope you enjoyed reading this article and find the presented information very useful in caring for your lizard.

How Long Do Bibron Gecko Lizards Live?

As unconventional as they might sound, lizards can be your best friends too. As a pet, they are easy to care for and do not require your attention 24/7. In fact, one of our first pets was a Bibron’s gecko lizard.

However, since these pets are extremely docile, we found taking care of them hard as there was not a lot of information about them available. So, we had to make do on our own!

However, if you wish to own one, you do not have to go through the same! Based on our experience with the exotic lizard, we have compiled a bunch of common questions that new time pet owners find themselves asking such as how long do Bibron’s gecko lizards live, what do they eat, where do they live etc.

So, without further ado, let’s dive in!

How Long Do Bibron Gecko Lizards Live?

Like all other animals, Bibron Gecko Lizards tend to live longer in captivity as compared to the wilderness. This is due to the lack of predators as well as a carefully structured diet and environment that they do not get in the wild.

The Bibron’s Gecko has an average lifespan of about 5-8 years. Although these lizards require little in terms of care, it is still a crucial element when it comes to longevity and lifespan.

If you do provide proper care, the lifespan can even exceed 10 years. So, if you want your reptile buddy to live longer, we recommend you take extra care of it.

What does it look like?

Although the Bibron’s Gecko may not be the most beautiful of lizards, it still is a modestly attractive one. You will find the skin to have black, grey, or brown bumps.

The skin itself is brown in color and has a rough texture due to the bumps and scales on the back. The brown color is broken by black stripes. The belly is white or brown. Although the adult has broken black lines on the back, the new hatchlings are born with more solid bands.

Adults can reach 4 to 9 inches of total length. As in most animals, the females are much shorter in length. However, you can easily distinguish between males and females by the white spots found on the backs of males.

The head is broad and the eyes may be yellow, brown or grey. The gecko lacks eyelids and has vertical pupils. Its simple yet exotic beauty is sure to catch your attention!

Where is it from and what is its natural habitat?

The Bibron’s Gecko is a thick toed lizard species of South African descent and is usually found in Savannahs, Steppes etcetera. They love to hide among rocky crevasses, cliffs or other hiding places.

They can be defined as mostly arboreal as well as terrestrial since they climb trees and live on land as well. However, they are mostly found in trees. The lizards are found mostly near thatches of woods or thorns or near waterholes. The species is called a colonial species since it is found in groups as large as 20.

What is its Behavior Like?

The Bibron’s Gecko is found often in captivity, however, most folks tend to avoid them due to their aggressive nature. These reptiles are not afraid to bite you if you handle them poorly.

They are fairly anti-social and do not like to be picked up often. This may be due to their sensitive skin. So, if you do decide to pick them up, ensure you use both of your hands and don’t forget to use gloves.

The species can be aggressive towards each other as well. It is best to keep the species alone or in pairs as males can often fight over dominance or another female. Females fight each other too, however, to a lesser extent.

What is its Diet?

The geckos are insectivores and will love to eat any type of bugs offered. In the wild, they often hunt on any type of bug they can easily overpower. However, their favorite insects are Crickets and mealworms.

So, we recommend you keep a healthy supply of these bugs at all times. However, you should also supply other bugs from time to time. You could offer canned insects as well, but, these lizards prefer to hunt and kill their own prey. You will seldom see them eating pre-killed insects.

The meal size should be 5  to 7 adult Crickets. We have noticed that they only need to eat every 3 to 4 days so, you do not have to worry about their meals quite often.

You can include other supplements as well. Calcium and Vitamin supplements are popular with most owners. However, these are not absolutely necessary. Rest assured, insect diet can suffice for almost all nutrients they would normally need.

For water, do not use a water bowl. Instead, use a spray or a misting device that spreads water droplets on the surface of the rocks. The gecko normally hydrates itself by licking water off the rocks.

What is the best housing for it?

To help your gecko feel at home, ensure there are multiple hiding spots in the terrarium. These help the gecko feel more secure. The terrarium should be about 45 x 45 x 60 cm or 10 gallons and should be wide enough for an adult sized gecko while babies can start with a 5-10 gallon tank.

This ensures they get sufficient exercise. If you wish to add more geckos, then you need to have 10 gallons more for each gecko. We recommend keeping a single male or female gecko as they are aggressive species.

Even when keeping a male and a female, the female might become egg bound over and over again. So, we recommend keeping them in a separate tank and only placing them together if you wish to breed them.

You can create lots of hiding spots by using stones and rocks. Ensure these places are accessible yet out of sight. These comfortable hiding places are necessary as the lizards are often more active during the night and love to hide during the day. However, we recommend that you glue down these places as they might shift and trap the gecko.

You can include live plants as well, however, we recommend using hardy and tough plants as the gecko, being an arboreal animal, might want to climb them. These can be Pothos Ivy, Sansevieria and Philodendron.

You can use coarse or gravel beds for the terrarium as they provide a more rustic feel.

What are the best temperature and lighting conditions?

Geckos prefer a temperature of about 79-86 degrees F in the day while during the night time the temperature can dip to 64 degrees F. Remember, they need heat, thats why lizards are not seen in the winter. A basking lamp should be provided to help reach the required temperatures and for lighting.

A basking lamp can help achieve temperatures greater than 90 Degrees F. You can turn the lamp off at night as these reptiles like to hunt in the dark, however, we recommend you don’t let the temperature fall below 60 degrees F.

Since these geckos are classified as ectotherms, they need an external heat source to stay alive. So, we recommend putting the basking lamp on one side of the tank. This allows your lizard to choose for itself the temperature it wants.

The photoperiod during the summers is about 12-14 hours while during the winters, it can be reduced to about 6 hours. You can achieve 40-50% humidity as well with a spray bottle or a misting device.  

How easy is it to breed them?

These geckos are found so regularly in the wild, that it is not common practice to breed them. Most times you can find a new one right next door. However, if you do wish to breed them, the process is quite simple and easy.

All you need to do is place a male and about 3 females together in a 40-gallon tank. The temperatures during the night should be dropped to 68 degrees F. This is because night time is the preferred time for these reptiles to mate.

If courtship is successful, remove the male from the tank as it might continue mating with the females and cause them to become egg bound.

The females will start laying their eggs after a short period of time. The females usually lay about two clutches in a year and each clutch will have about two eggs. The eggs should be removed as quickly as possible as placed in an incubator. Incubation temperatures should be about 80-82 degrees F with about 60% of humidity. The eggs hatch about two months after they are laid.

Most often, the eggs do not make it. So, we recommend you keep trying until you get it right. Once the eggs are hatched, the new babies will be about 2 inches long and need to be cared for.

Are they dangerous?

Well, Bibron’s gecko is relatively safe and nice. They will only bite if disturbed, grab their tail or poked. We recommend you keep the kids away from them. These pets are best enjoyed by adults who have the patience to deal with them.

They do not like being handled or picked due to their sensitive skin. Their skin might tear if you’re not careful. So, we recommend being extra gentle and only rarely touching them or picking them up.

Otherwise, these can be one of the nicest pets to own. You can take our word on it!

Are they ideal for beginners?

The Bibron’s Gecko is one of the easiest pets to handle. They only require feeding every 3-4 days. All you need to take care of is the temperature and humidity.

These pets do not require a lot of attention. They actually like it if you do not pay too much attention since they love hiding. You can easily have the lighting and temperature system automated in case you forget to set it at the right temperature.

These are best for beginners who wish to have a pet but do not want to shoulder too much responsibility. However, that does not mean that you leave the pet on its own. You still need to keep it hydrated and its environment suitable for it.


Well, we hope that answers any questions or queries you had about these amazing reptiles. Now you can take care of them better than we did! All in all, these pets only need the slightest bit of attention and they’re good to go! No need to slave over them like the bigger pets.

This is why these pets hold a special place in our hearts. If you found the content useful, like, share and subscribe so we can continue bringing forth such content!

What Does The Common Basilisk Lizard Eat?

If you are interested in the Common Basilisk like me, you may want to find out their diet.

What does the Common Basilisk Lizard Eat? They will eat almost anything they can find including insects, such as crickets. Fish, frogs, snakes and even birds. Hence the reason I said they will eat almost anything. This is also the same as their baby lizards, although they have a smaller appetite, due to their size.

Where do they get their name from?

Getting its name from the Greek term basiliskos,’ which means ‘little king’ due to its crownlike head adornment, the common basilisks is undeniably one of the most beautiful lizards to walk the face of the earth.

It is also incredibly reminiscent of its ancestral cousins, the dinosaurs, and aren’t we glad that these ‘mini dinosaurs’ are still with us!

What does it look like?

Adult common basilisks are big lizards that can grow up to two and a half feet long . Nevertheless, their tails typically comprise 70 percent of their entire body length. The large tails help them with balance.

The common basilisk is usually brown or olive but can have color disparities ranging from bright green to bronze. It has dark crossbands and lateral stripes. Younger common basilisks have similar colorations but tend to be more vivid while having three longitudinal lines on their throats.

It has bronze or brown eyes. On their feet, they have long digits that have sharp claws to aid in climbing. A sexually dimorphic species, males have a set of high cranial crests that run along their entire body’s length.

They are, indeed, a sight to behold. Even though the plumes appear soft, they are ridged to touch. This affords them some level of protection against predators. It is also likely that these crests serve as thermal regulators by diffusing heat.

Where do the common basilisks come from?

This lizard typically lives in low elevations and is found in the South American regions of southwestern Nicaragua to northwestern Colombia.

It can also be found in central Panama and northwest Venezuela. You can also spot it on the Pacific side of Costa Rica.

Does it really run on water?

This beautiful lizard also goes by the name ‘Jesus Christ Lizard, or Lagarto de Jesus Cristo’ due to its ability to run on the water’s surface. To achieve this feat, the common basilisk has big hind feet that have scaly fringes between their third and fifth toes.

These fringes are typically compressed against their digits while walking on land; but upon sensing danger, the lizard can jump into the water, while simultaneously opening the fringes as they land on the water’s surface.

This enlarges the foot’s surface area, thus enabling it to run on water for a short distance.

This phenomenon occurs in three phases. The first is known as the slap, which involves the foot rapidly pushing water away from the leg, thereby creating an air bubble around the foot.

The next phase is the stroke, where the foot propels the animal forward, and the final step is the recovery where the foot comes out of the water to do the slap again.

A small basilisk can run for up to 20 meters while a mature one will run for shorter distances before submerging due to the extra weight. Nonetheless, common basilisks are excellent swimmers and can stay submerged for up to 20 minutes.

What is its Behavior?

Basilisks are diurnal and spend most of their time looking for food or basking. They sleep high up in the trees at night.

What are its predators?

Birds commonly eat smaller basilisks. Snakes and opossums will prey on an adult basilisk if they catch it unawares, for instance, while it is sleeping.

What is the best Terrarium and surroundings for them?

In captivity, it does not take a lot to make the common basilisk comfortable. An aquarium of standard size that has screen covers should provide suitable housing. Nevertheless, the size of the tank shall depend on the number of animals you intend to care for. A 55-gallon aquarium should be an ideal setup for a small group of say three females and one male.

However, it is essential to simulate the natural environments for these natured arboreal species so that they are comfortable. To achieve this, consider incorporating large tree branches that the lizard will climb as part of the aquarium’s furniture. Moreover, be sure to add potted plants such as philodendron or dracaena in the tanks to enhance its attractiveness while giving the lizard places to hide.

And since it is a reptile, the common basilisk is not able to control its body’s temperature, which is why it spends a lot of time basking in warm areas. This means that you must create warmth in the vivarium. However, too much heat can also be harmful.

Place an ultraviolet light in one area of the cage where the lizard can go and bask. Keep the temperatures at the mid-80s while adjusting according to the season.

The cage must also have a large bowl of water for drinking. However, basilisks usually defecate in their water. Thus you should change the water regularly. Nevertheless, this makes the general cleanup a lot easier.

What does the common basilisk eat?

The common basilisk is an omnivore, meaning that it eats both plants and flesh. However, they have been found to have a liking for fleshy foods. Thus, the diet of your pet basilisk should comprise of various types of insects such as wax worms, crickets, spiders, grasshoppers, and mealworms. Also, be sure to dust their meals with a powder of Vitamin D3 and calcium supplements once a week.

If you will be rearing their food, such as feeder crickets, ensure that you give them a diet that is rich in vitamins. You could be giving the crickets rolled oats or shaved carrots.

How do you breed them and Are they easy to breed?

Common basilisks will reach their sexual maturity at around one year of age. Thus, if you are housing sexually active females and a male, you can expect a clutch of eggs each month.

Nevertheless, if you are intent on breeding, drying out their enclosure should stimulate them to breed often. The best conditions are those of temperatures between 84 and 88 degrees while having the humidity levels at the low 50s.

The average clutch size is between five and twelve eggs. However, due to their constant breeding, it is a likely possibility that you will soon run out of space if you intend to accommodate the hatchlings.

Are there any health threats for this lizard?

High humidity and heat levels can cause respiratory problems and skin disorders to the animal. To avoid this, keep the humidity levels at between 50 and 70 percent, and the temperatures between 70 and 85 degrees. Also, ensure that the enclosure has sufficient air circulation and natural sunlight to prevent fungus and bacteria.

Basilisks require UV lighting to process vitamin D. thus, without it, they will be unable to synthesize calcium, which can result in metabolic bone disease or osteoporosis.

Do they bite?

Common basilisks are not very fond of constant handling. Therefore, even though they are not typically aggressive, they might attack if they get agitated. This, however, does not imply that you shouldn’t touch them at all, instead, return them to their enclosure if they start getting upset.

These specimens boast an impressive set of jaws, and if they do bite you, do not try to wrestle them as you might injure the animal. A few drops of vinegar on its mouth should suffice.

Are they ideal for beginners?

The common basilisk is a docile animal that does not require a lot of maintenance. With the proper enclosure conditions, food, and respect towards it, anyone can have this lizard as their pet. Also consider checking out the interesting ​Bibron Gecko.

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