Field Guide to Maryland's Lizards (Order Squamata)

Eastern Six-lined Racerunner

Family: Whiptails (Teiidae)

Common Name:

​Eastern Six-lined Racerunner

Scientific Name:

Aspidoscelis sexlineatus sexlineatus​

Eastern Six-Lined Racer Adult photo by John White
Photo of Adult Eastern Six-Lined Race Runner courtesy of John White

6 inches – 9 ½ inches

  • As its name implies, this slender animal has six light-colored stripes starting at its head and continuing down along the tail.

  • The back color is brown to black. The back scales are small, resulting in a very smooth look.

  • The belly has large scales arranged in eight rows.

  • Its tail is long (compared to our other lizards, over half its total length).

  • The scales on the tail are keeled, giving it a rough feel and appearance.

  • Young racerunners resemble adults except that they have bright blue tails.

  • Close-up of Eastern six-lined racerunner photo by John White & Habitat photo by Rebecca Chalmers
    Close-up photo of Eastern Six-lined Racerunner courtesy of John White
    & Photo of Habitat courtesy of Rebecca Chalmers


    Prefers open sunny and dry areas with loose or sandy soils with grasses or shrubs for cover.

    How to Find:

    These animals are very fast. May sometimes be found by lifting cover logs in sandy dry woodland habitats.

    Distribution in Maryland:

    Found on the Coastal Plain of the Western Shore and the Potomac Valley counties west to Allegany.

    Eastern six-lined racerunner Maryland Distribution Map