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Six-lined racerunner facts for kids

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Six-lined racerunner
Aspidoscelis sexlineata (male).jpg
Male six-lined racerunner (Aspidoscelis sexlineata).
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Genus:
Aspidoscelis
Species:
sexlineatus
Synonyms
  • Lacerta sexlineata
    Linnaeus, 1766
  • Cnemidophorus sexlineatus
    — A.M.C. Duméril & Bibron, 1839
  • Aspidoscelis sexlineata
    — Reeder et al., 2002

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

Geographic range

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. The species' range also reaches north to Wisconsin and Minnesota. A small disjunct population is found in Tuscola County, Michigan.

Description

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

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

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

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.

Subspecies

There are three recognized subspecies of A. sexlineatus:

  • Eastern six-lined racerunner, Aspidoscelis sexlineatus sexlineatus (Linnaeus, 1766)
  • Texas yellow-headed racerunner, Aspidoscelis sexlineatus stephensae Trauth, 1992
  • Prairie racerunner, Aspidoscelis sexlineatus viridis Lowe, 1966

Conservation status

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.

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