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Herps of SC/GA

Six-lined Racerunner (Cnemidophorus [Aspidoscelis] sexlineatus)

Photos by J.D. Willson unless otherwise noted

species photo range map: SC and GArange map: eastern US

Description: 6 - 9.5 in (15 - 24 cm). Although the six-lined racerunner is the only lizard in our area with six light yellow or white stripes down its back, the racerunner's ground-dwelling habits and impressive speed are often sufficient to identify this species from a distance.

Range and Habitat: The six-lined racerunner is a common lizard throughout Georgia and South Carolina, but is absent from some areas in the mountains. This species is most common in hot, open areas such as fields, woodland edges, and sand dunes and is almost always found on the ground.

Habits: Racerunners are fond of heat and are active even on the hottest of summer days. They are alert and active, darting between clumps of vegetation to grab insects. During cool weather, night, or when confronted by a predator, racerunners often take refuge in burrows.

Prey: Six-lined racerunners eat a wide variety of insects, spiders, and other invertebrates.

Reproduction: Female racerunners lay 1 - 5 eggs in a shallow nest in the summer. Young resemble adults and lack the bright blue tails of the skinks.

Abundance: In hot, open habitats racerunners are often the most common lizards. However, they are almost never found in moist, shady habitats such as thick forests or river swamps.

Notes: Racerunners are extremely fast, making them some of the most difficult lizards to capture.

species photo
species photo

Lizards of SC and GA
Reptiles and Amphibians of SC and GA
SREL Herpetology