Six-lined racerunner

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Six-lined racerunner
Aspidoscelis sexlineata (male).jpg
Male six-lined racerunner (Aspidoscelis sexlineata).
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Family: Teiidae
Genus: Aspidoscelis
Species: A. sexlineata
Binomial name
Aspidoscelis sexlineata
(Linnaeus, 1766)
Synonyms

The six-lined racerunner (Aspidoscelis sexlineata) is a species of lizard native to the United States and Mexico.

Geographic range[edit]

The six-lined racerunner is found throughout much of the southeastern and south-central portion of the United States, from Maryland to Florida in the east, across the Great Plains to southern Texas and northern Mexico.[3][4] The species' range also reaches north to Wisconsin and Minnesota. A small disjunct population is found in Tuscola County, Michigan.[3]

Description[edit]

The six-lined racerunner is typically dark green, brown, or black in color, with six yellow or green-yellow stripes that extend down the body from head to tail. The underside is usually white in color on females, and a pale blue in males. Males also sometimes have a pale green-colored throat. They are slender-bodied, with a tail nearly twice the body length.

Behavior[edit]

Like other species of whiptail lizards, the six-lined racerunner is diurnal and insectivorous. They are wary, energetic, and fast moving, with speeds of up to 18 mph (29 kmh), darting for cover if approached.

Habitat[edit]

Due to its extensive range, A. sexlineata is found in a wide variety of habitats including grasslands, woodlands, open floodplains, or rocky outcroppings. It prefers lower elevations, with dry loamy soils.

Reproduction[edit]

Breeding takes place in the spring and early summer, with up to six eggs being laid in mid-summer and hatching six to eight weeks later. A second clutch of eggs may be laid several weeks after the first. According to National Geographic (November 2016) lizards of the genus Aspidoscelis "are all female and parthenogenetic, meaning their eggs develop into embryos without fertilization."

Subspecies[edit]

There are three recognized subspecies of A. sexlineata:

Conservation status[edit]

The six-lined racerunner is listed as a species of concern in the state of Michigan, due to its limited population but otherwise holds no official conservation status.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Media related to Aspidoscelis sexlineata at Wikimedia Commons