"The army of basilisks are moving forward."

Jesus Christ Superlizard

Yet another invasive species is causing a stir in Florida.

And this time, the critter's name evokes a certain holiness. The brown basilisk, commonly known as the "Jesus Christ Lizard" for its ability to run on water, has cometh — and according to scientists, Floridians should not wanteth.

University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural (UF IFA) Sciences Extension Agent Ken Gioeli warned several local outlets that on top of the potential for habitat destruction, the elysian reptiles, which apparently love to snack on similarly invasive, often disease-bearing mosquitos, might pose an indirect risk to human health.

"There is ongoing research on the potential for basilisks to be hosts for these mosquito-borne diseases," Gioeli told Florida's Fox13, "so there's a possible human health impact there."

Reptilian Crusaders

Finding a loose JC Lizard, which is native to Central and South America, in the North American state isn't entirely shocking. Per Florida Today, they were first seen in Florida's wild back in 1963, likely stemming from escaped or discarded pets.

But their population has continued to grow since, and according to the University of Florida scientists, they're showing up farther North than ever before, officially making their way into the decidedly Northern city of Gainesville, where UF is located.

"It's almost like an army," Gioeli explained to Florida Today. "The army of basilisks are moving forward. And the population is just going to expand."

Wartime Casualty

At the end of the day, though, in regard to human health, the Jesus Lizards aren't particularly aggressive. And again, the risk is indirect. They're also much smaller than invasive iguanas, which sometimes die destroying energy transformers and battle dogs.

But the righteous reptiles, according to IFA research, love themselves some native butterflies and other local insects, an appetite that could damage native Floridian habitats. Thus, as with injurious invasive species like the lanternfly, they sadly might be better off sent to the metaphorical farm.

READ MORE: What Are the 'Jesus Lizards' in Florida? Get to Know the Brown Basilisk That Walks on Water [Florida Today]

More on invasive species: Authorities Euthanize World’s Largest Toad

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