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Basiliscus basiliscus (LINNAEUS, 1758)

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Higher TaxaCorytophanidae, Iguania, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
SubspeciesBasiliscus basiliscus basiliscus (LINNAEUS 1758)
Basiliscus basiliscus barbouri RUTHVEN 1914 
Common NamesE: Common Basilisk
G: Helmbasilisk 
SynonymLacerta basiliscus LINNAEUS 1758: 206
Lacerta basiliscus — SHAW & NODDER 1793: plate 142
Basiliscus basiliscus — WAGLER 1830: 148
Basiliscus basiliscus — LANG 1989

Basiliscus basiliscus basiliscus (LINNAEUS 1758)
Basiliscus americanus LAURENTI 1768: 50
Iguana basiliscus — MEYER 1795: 16
Basiliscus mitratus DAUDIN 1802 (nom. subst. pro B. basiliscus LINNAEUS)
Iguana basiliscus — LATREILLE 1802
Basiliscus mitratus — DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1837: 181
Ophryessa bilineata GRAY 1839: 94
Thysanodactylus bilineatus — GRAY 1845: 194
Lophosaura goodridgii GRAY 1852: 438
Basiliscus guttulatus COPE 1876: 156
Basiliscus americanus — BOULENGER 1885: 108
Basiliscus americanus — BARBOUR 1905: 100
Basiliscus basiliscus basiliscus — LANG 1989

Basiliscus basiliscus barbouri RUTHVEN 1914
Basiliscus barbouri RUTHVEN 1914: 9
Basiliscus basiliscus barbouri — PETERS & DONOSO-BARROS 1970
Basiliscus basiliscus barbouri — KLUGE 1984
Basiliscus basiliscus barbouri — LANG 1989 
DistributionSE Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama,
Colombia (Pacific range through mid Choco biogeografic Región; throughValle del Cauca, elevation 0 to 400 m.; Cordoba, Sucre, Antioquia, Bolivar, Magdalena, Atlantico, Guajira, Cesar, Norte Santander, Santander [0 to 1200 m]; Valle del Río Cauca through Valle and Valle del Río Magdalena through Huila up to 1200 m),
Venezuela (Tachira, Zulia, Trujillo: HR 32: 56)

introduced to Guyana (HOOGMOED, pers. comm.)

barbouri: N Colombia, NW Venezuela; Type locality: Gaira River at Minca, San Lorenzo, Santa Marta Mountains, Colombia (elevation: 2200 feet)

Type locality: “America australi”  
Reproductionoviparous; one of the few parthenogenetic iguanian lizards (KUHN & SCHMIDT 2003). 
TypesHolotype: iconotype, based on Seba 1734, plae 1, Figure 1, which is based on MNHN 780 (fide Taylor 1956, Lang 1989)
Holotype: UMMZ 45411 [barbouri]
Holotype: BMNH (unnumbered) [Ophryessa bilineata]
Holotype: not located fide Lang 1989: 126 [goodridgii]
Holotype: USNM 25164 [Basiliscus guttulatus] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (genus): Basiliscus differs from all other corytophanid genera in possessing the following combination of character states: a) a longitudinal, fleshy head flap (variously called fin or crest), growing with age just as the crest of the parietal bone supporting it, most prominent in males and absent in small juveniles; b) longitudinal dorsal and caudal fins (variously called crests) or a serrate crest of greatly enlarged scales separated by 1–2 small scales in males, a vertebral row of moderately enlarged, at least slightly serrate scales in females and juveniles; c) anterior superciliary scales elongate, imbricate; d) lateral body scales homogeneous; e) scaly lateral fringes along toes, at least some of which are articulated and folded against toe most of the time; f) subdigital lamellae with a single keel that may be tuberculate (knob-like) on some lamellae; g) caudal autotomy septa present, caudal autotomy (S. Lotzkat, pers. comm., 2021).

Diagnosis (genus): Lang 1989 diagnosed the species of Basiliscus by internal anatomical characters, which are not useful without dissection. 
CommentSynonymy partly after PETERS & DONOSO-BARROS 1970 and LANG 1989.

Distribution: Not listed for Ecuador by TORRES-CARVAJAL 2001 and TORRES-CARVAJAL et al. 2019. See map in Lang 1989: 127, 130.

Type species: Lacerta basiliscus is the type species of the genus Basiliscus WAGLER 1830. 
EtymologyNamed after the Greek “basiliskos”, meaning small king, in reference to the expanded parietal blade symbolic of a crown. 
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  • Alemán, Billy M. and Javier Sunyer 2015. Notes on an introduced population of Basiliscus basiliscus (Linnaeus, 1758) in Nicaragua. Mesoamerican Herpetology 2 (4): 574 - get paper here
  • Arias, Erick; Federico Bolaños 2014. A checklist of the amphibians and reptiles of San Isidro de Dota, Reserva Forestal Los Santos, Costa Rica. Check List 10 (4): 870-877 - get paper here
  • Barbour, T. in: Bangs, Outram; Brown, Wilmont W.; Thayer, John E.; Barbour, Thomas 1905. The Vertebrata of Gorgona Island, Colombia. 1 Introduction. Mammalia. 2. Physical aspect and climate; Fauna. 3 Aves. 4 Reptilia; Amphibia. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard 46 (5): 87-102 - get paper here
  • BARRIO-AMOROS, C. L 2020. Basiliscus basiliscus. (Common Basilisk). Behavior. Herpetological Review 51: 594-595.
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  • Böhme, W. 1975. Indizien für natürliche Parthenogenese beim Helmbasilisken, Basiliscus basiliscus (Linnaeus 1758). Salamandra 11: 77-83 - get paper here
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1885. Catalogue of the lizards in the British Museum (Natural History). Vol. 2, Second edition. London, xiii+497 pp. - get paper here
  • Cole, Charles J.; Carol R. Townsend, Robert P. Reynolds, Ross D. MacCulloch, and Amy Lathrop 2013. Amphibians and reptiles of Guyana, South America: illustrated keys, annotated species accounts, and a biogeographic synopsis. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 125 (4): 317-578; plates: 580-620 - get paper here
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  • Daudin, F. M. 1802. Histoire Naturelle, génerale et particulièredes reptiles, ouvrage faisant suite, a l'histoiure naturelle, générale et particulière composée par LECLERC DE BUFFON, et redigée par C. S. SONNINI, vol. 3. F. Dufart, Paris, 452 pp. - get paper here
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  • La Marca, E. & J.J. García Milano. 1995. Geographic Distribution (Lacertilia): Basiliscus basiliscus barbouri. Herpetological Review 26(2):108 - get paper here
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  • Maturana, H. R. 1962. A study of the species of the genus Basiliscus. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard 128: 1-34 - get paper here
  • Meyer, F.A.A. 1795. Synopsis Reptilium, novam ipsorum sistens generum methodum, nec non Gottingensium huius ordinis animalium enumerationem. Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht, Göttingen, 32 pp [for current names see Rösler & Böhme 2021] - get paper here
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