Thursday, March 15, 2012

Hatchlings on the Way

This is a basilisk lizard (Basiliscus vittatus to be precise).  A female -- readily determined since she lacks the spectacular crest of the male.  Common in the tropics and Gallon Jug, well known as "the Jesus Christ" lizard for its ability to walk on water. Here she is in the gravel, right next to the staircase of our house.  And what, you may ask, is she doing?  If you look carefully (picture on the right) you can see she is poised over a hole she has excavated and is depositing eggs.  Within a hour or so, she'd apparently finished.  The area was completely covered over and you'd have no clue that there was a hidden nest.

The interesting thing is, since 1997, a basilisk lizard has excavated her nest cavity here at this exact -- so far as I can tell -- spot.   Is it the same female lizard?  Do they live that long?  Or do the hatchlings return to their nest site to dig their own nest hole?