What’s emerald, wears a crown, and walks on water?

I’ll give you some hints: Carl Linnaeus, the father of the modern system of biological classification, placed these animals in the genera Basiliscus, named after the mythic basilisk. Basilisks, you may recall, were feared capable of turning a man to stone with just their gaze. Or this: in Costa Rica you may find these creatures rising up on their hind legs and racing across rivers and ponds.

And when you see an emerald lizard wearing a crown walking across water, you might understand their more common name – the Jesus Christ lizard!

Basiliscus pluimfrons, the plumed basilisk, is often seen around our ponds and pool at Luna Nueva

but this morning we were surprised to find a female laying her eggs in one of our parking areas.

She was interrupted by a few curious humans who checked out the three or four eggs visible in her excavation, and that perhaps explains why she neglected to bury one of the eggs.

We decided to help her out, so after she left we dug another hole and gently buried this soft little egg. We hope that in eight to ten weeks we’ll be watching these basilisks (from the Greek for “little kings”) scampering around our farm and walking upright across our pools and streams.

Meanwhile, the highly territorial papa basilisk was presiding over the scene from his perch astride the ylang ylang limb.

Ah, another fine day at Luna, rich with emeralds and eggs….