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This lizard can be distinguished from similar species within its range by its large size and the high finlike crests down its back. The plumed basilisk is the largest basilisk species, with an average snout-to-vent length (SVL) of approximately 10 inches (25 cm). Including the tail, it can reach 3 feet (91 cm) in total length. Adults are brilliant green, with bright yellow eyes, and small bluish spots along the dorsal ridge. Males have three crests: one on the head, one on the back, and one on the tail, while females only have the head crest.
Seen along the Penas Blancas river The Common Basilisk lives along bodies of water in a variety of forests, including lowland dry, moist, and wet forests, and premontane moist and wet forests. Even in highly disturbed agricultural areas, they can survive in gallery forests or secondary growth near streams.