Basilisk lizards live in the tropical rain forests of southern Mexico, Central America and northern South America. Some have been introduced to Florida and survive the winter months by burrowing under leaf litter. Basilisk lizards belong to the family Corytophanidae and are closely related to iguanas.

Some species, such as the green basilisk, can reach lengths of up to 2 1/2 feet, including the tail. Basilisk lizards are also known as Jesus Christ lizards and are famous for their ability to quickly traverse the water's surface. They move at approximately 5 feet per second up to a distance of 15 feet before sinking. Basilisk lizards are proficient swimmers.