- Appears In: 1.18 - A Serpent's Tooth, 1.23 - The Mysteries of Life, Young Hercules: Cheiron's Warriors (Mention Only)
Life Cycle of a Basilisk
- After birth, a pre-hatched "egg" of a basilisk is curled up in a round shape, its tough skin and armored back-shell hardened to give the appearance of a rock. This may be an evolutionary design trait to protect the pre-hatched offspring, and implies that the basilisk is native to rockier climates.
- During "hatching", the round "ball" of a baby Basilisk will grow to nearly 350% of its size within a few seconds as it uncurls from the ball-shape. A baby basilisk is similar in physiology to a turtle, with a hard shell armor covering its entire back and front torso.
- As a baby, it can immediately stand on two legs and walk, as well as open its eyes and eat solid food. It is born highly intelligent and can learn quickly. When feeling threatened, a baby basilisk can spit green goo "venom" that eventually will burst into flames. It also is more likely to flee than fight, and can re-curl up into a round ball-like shape and roll around quickly. It can survive falls from heights. It likes fruit, particularly melon, although it is unknown if Basilisks will eat meat.
- As an adult, a Basilisk stands several feet above the average human male. According to Iolaus and Hercules, Ruff was about "ten times heavier" and "ten times smellier" than he was as a baby, although the stench could be attributed to the poor living conditions Ruff had been subjected to. A basilisk can spit fireballs, but because of its snout it has trouble breathing fire straight up.
On Young Hercules
"1.18 - A Serpent's Tooth" - The basilisk encountered by the trio is called Ruff. As an egg, he is given to Jason as a fake coronation present by Strife and Discord. After hatching, he bonds with Iolaus immediately, thinking of the cadet as his mama. After proving to be very destructive, though, Iolaus is forced to give Ruff up and return him to the wild.
"1.23 - The Mysteries of Life" - As an adult, Ruff is captured by a carnival Barker as a side-show attraction. Iolaus and Hercules break him free and he is eventually released on an island sanctuary that is sacred to Artemis.
There are two species of basilisk. The first kind burns everything it approaches, and the second kind can kill every living thing with a mere glance. Both species are so dreadful that their breath wilts vegetation and shatters stones. It was even believed that if a man on horseback should try to kill it with a spear, the power of the poison conducted through the weapon would not only kill the rider, but the horse as well. The only way to kill a basilisk is by holding a mirror in front of its eyes, while avoiding to look directly at it. The moment the creature sees its own reflection, it will die of fright.
However, even the basilisk has natural enemies. The weasel is immune to its glance and if it gets bitten it withdraws from the fight to eat some rue, the only plant that does not wither, and returns with renewed strength. A more dangerous enemy is the cock for should the basilisk hear it crow, it would die instantly.
The carcass of a basilisk was often hung in houses to keep spiders away. It was also used in the temples of Apollo and Diana, where no swallow ever dared to enter. In heraldry the basilisk is represented as an animal with the head, torso and legs of a cock, the tongue of a snake and the wings of a bat. The snake-like rump ends in an arrow-point.