Field Guide to Maryland's Lizards (Order Squamata)

Six-lined Racerunner ( Aspidoscelis sexlineata )

Six-Lined Racer Adult photo by John White
Photo of Adult 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  six-lined racerunner photo by John White & Habitat photo by Rebecca Chalmers
Close-up photo of 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  

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