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Can Someone Please Help Me Identify These Costa Rican Lizards?

Discussion in 'Field Herping' started by Karadactyl, Dec 23, 2013.

  1. Karadactyl

    Karadactyl New Member

    Hi folks! I was on my honeymoon in Costa Rica in September, and I was hoping someone could help me identify 2 of the critters I took pictures of. Both of these guys were all over the place. I did a bunch of google searching and I THINK the green one is a baby Plumed Basilisk (Basiliscus plumifrons) and I THINK the blue and orange one is a baby Ctenosaur (Ctenosaura similis). At least, that is the best I could come up with based on photos on the internet. I found one picture that looks JUST like the green guy, and the image title claims it is a Sceloporus malachiticus (emerald swift), but when I searched for them, it doesn't look right at all. Anyway, here are the pictures. Thanks in advance!!!

    Possible Basilisk baby

    Full body:

    Possible Ctenosaur baby

    Full body:
  2. Muralis

    Muralis Member

    First of all, beautiful pictures! Thanks for sharing them

    Now, while the first one has designs that look very similar to that of a plumed basilisk, I don't think it is one: it doesn't have any casque (crest) on the head or sailfin along its back. Even when they're juveniles they tend to have the small beginnings of a casque. On the other hand, it could be a juvenile female basilisk, since their casques are already greatly reduced as adult - so I'm very hesitant about the first one. Definitely not an emerald swift though : ) Otherwise, I'm afraid I don't have any other suggestions - but I'm also curious to find out!

    You were spot on about the second guy: definitely looks like a ctenosaur!
  3. Karadactyl

    Karadactyl New Member

    Thanks for the photo compliments, Muralis! Happy to share :)

    And thank you for the info, I was skeptical about the green one being a plumed basilisk for exactly the reasons you mentioned, but there were a few photos on the interwebs that look JUST like him claiming they were juvie basilisks. Since (despite what I am told ;)) NOT everything on the interwebs is true, I figured I would pose the question to people that might know the answer :)

    I actually posed the question over on Pangea forums as well and someone told me they think they are actually BOTH Ctenosaur similis and that the juvies undergo major color changes. This actually made sense to me because when we were there I actually thought they were either the female and male or different color morphs of the same species. I had no idea either of the little guys would grow up to be the dragon creatures that Ctenosaurs are! :p

    I did a little MORE internet searching and found this which seems to confirm they are both Ctenosaurs.
  4. JoshuaJones

    JoshuaJones Banned User

    We have a winner. ;)

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