While visiting this sandy habitat in Missouri, I came across several of these quick little reptiles. Their ground-dwelling habits and impressive speed are often sufficient to identify them from a distance.
Growing 6 to 9-1/2 inches, the Six-lined Racerunner is the only lizard in the southeastern United States with six light yellow or white stripes down its back.
This species is most common in hot, open areas such as fields, woodland edges and sand dunes; it is almost always found on the ground. It is fond of heat and is active even on the hottest of Summer days.
Six-lined Racerunners rely on sight to hunt small insects, arachnids, other reptiles, and occasionally, even mammals. They are voracious predators that hunt during daylight hours.
It was fun to observe these fast-moving and agile escape artists that can quickly disappear into thick cover or small burrows when they perceive danger.