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The Common Basilisk is a species of basilisk lizard very common in Central America. It is large, with long limbs, a long tail, and, in males, prominent crests on the head, back, and tail. The overall coloration is brown with lighter stripes.
Basilisk lizards (Basiliscus spp.) are a group of lizards found from Mexico into South America. They can swim well and can climb trees, but their most famous ability is that of running bipedally over the surface of water, a tactic often used to escape predators. Basiliscus basiliscus is generally found near the water that lends it refuge. Individuals are commonly found along forest streams, beside rivers in agricultural areas, or in many other habitats featuring bodies of water.
The name "basilisk" (first applied to this group of lizard by Linnaeus) refers to a creature from Greek mythology - a serpent with a crowned head and the ability to kill with its glance. With their elongate body and crested head, species of Basiliscus do look remarkably dragon-like.
There are two recognized subspecies of B. basiliscus: B. basiliscus basiliscus and B. basiliscus barbouri.