Tegus Whiptail Lizards and Relatives: Teiidae
Six-lined Racerunner (cnemidophorus Sexlineatus): Species Accounts
Physical characteristics: The six-lined racerunner is a handsome and speedy little lizard. Its body is brown to green and has six thin yellow stripes that flow down the body from head to tail. Each stripe is separated from the next with a wide brown to black band of color. In addition, a lighter brown to gray stripe runs down the center of its back. In some populations, the head and neck are brownish, but in others they are yellowish green. Juveniles have blue or blue-green tails. Adults reach about 2.1 to 2.9 inches (5.5 to 7.5 centimeters) in length from their snout to the vent. Including the tail, they can grow to 3.3 inches (8.5 centimeters) in length. Females are usually a bit larger than males.
Geographic range: This lizard lives mainly in the southeastern quarter of the United States but also in a few areas of northern midwestern states.
Habitat: This lizard commonly makes its home in sandy areas that have lots of sun but also some shady spots where it can cool off or hide from predators (PREH-duh-ters), or animals that hunt it for food.
Diet: They eat a variety of insects, spiders, and land snails.
Behavior and reproduction: After spending the night in their burrows, these lizards come out in the morning after the sun has warmed the ground. They bask to heat up their bodies and then spend much of the rest of the day looking for food. They are extremely fast lizards for their size and quickly dart into burrows, clumps of grass, shrubby undergrowth, or some other hiding spot when they feel even slightly threatened. They can run almost 18 miles (28 kilometers) an hour. During the breeding season, the chin and chest in some males (those from the western part of the species' range) turn a bluish white, while the females' undersides remain all white. They mate in spring to early summer. Females usually lay one to six eggs, which hatch in early to mid-summer. Some females have a second clutch, or batch of eggs, later in the year. They provide no care for the eggs or the young.
Six-lined racerunners and people: Other than occasionally collecting one for a pet, people generally leave this lizard alone.
Conservation status: This species is not considered endangered or threatened. ∎
- Tegus Whiptail Lizards and Relatives: Teiidae - Crocodile Tegu (crocodilurus Lacertinus): Species Accounts
- Tegus Whiptail Lizards and Relatives: Teiidae - Conservation Status
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Animal Life ResourceDinosaurs, Snakes, and Other ReptilesTegus Whiptail Lizards and Relatives: Teiidae - Physical Characteristics, Habitat, Diet, Behavior And Reproduction, Conservation Status, Six-lined Racerunner (cnemidophorus Sexlineatus): Species Accounts - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, TEGUS WHIPTAIL LIZARDS THEIR RE