SIX-LINED RACERUNNER
Aspidoscelis sexlineata
(Linnaeus 1766)


ăs-spĭd-ō-skĕl-ĭs — sĕx-lĭn-ē-ā-tă




An adult Six-lined Racerunner from Cherokee County, Kansas. © Travis W. Taggart.
An adult Six-lined Racerunner from Russell County, Kansas. © Travis W. Taggart.
Image © Suzanne L. Collins, CNAH.

Description:
This colorful lizard has light yellow to green stripes running from the neck onto the tail. The background color is tan to dark brown on the back and becomes bright green along the sides, especially in warm adult males, which often also have bright, light blue on the jaws and extending onto the throat and belly. The scales on the back are small and granular and become much larger and rectangular across the normally cream-colored belly.
Adults normally 152-203 mm (6-8 inches) in TL; largest specimen from Kansas: male (KU 220236) from Cherokee County with SVL of 82 mm and TL of 233 mm (9 1/8 inches) collected by Randall Reiserer on 18 May 1992; maximum length throughout range: 10½ inches (Conant and Collins, 1998).

Distribution:
This lizard occurs throughout Kansas, and may particularly abundant in areas characterized by loose soils and patchy open (or rocky) vegetation. A quick and alert species, they are most easily taken under cover early in the morning.

(, Museum Voucher) (, Observation) (, Literature Record)
Open icons are questionable records; Click on a marker to view details. Export Google Earth (.kml)
  • Occurrence Summary:  
  • 1,465 Total Records 
  • 1,288 Museum Vouchers 
  • 177 Other Observations 
Some county occurrences indicated below may be too imprecise to map above.
County Breakdown: County Name (# occurrences):
Allen (24); Anderson (19); Barber (27); Barton (4); Bourbon (23); Butler (1); Chautauqua (23); Cherokee (16); Cheyenne (25); Clark (7); Clay (2); Cloud (1); Coffey (1); Comanche (16); Cowley (56); Crawford (46); Decatur (8); Dickinson (3); Doniphan (1); Douglas (26); Edwards (6); Elk (11); Ellis (268); Ellsworth (15); Finney (50); Ford (23); Franklin (3); Geary (3); Gove (28); Graham (3); Grant (5); Gray (16); Greeley (1); Greenwood (26); Hamilton (10); Harper (14); Harvey (8); Haskell (1); Hodgeman (17); Jefferson (2); Jewell (2); Johnson (2); Kearney (2); Kingman (8); Kiowa (17); Labette (10); Lane (2); Leavenworth (3); Lincoln (10); Linn (1); Logan (11); Lyon (5); McPherson (2); Meade (44); Mitchell (6); Montgomery (12); Morton (36); Neosho (14); Ness (2); Norton (6); Osage (1); Osborne (4); Ottawa (3); Pawnee (5); Phillips (7); Pottawatomie (12); Pratt (18); Rawlins (11); Reno (18); Republic (6); Rice (8); Riley (15); Rooks (6); Rush (2); Russell (117); Saline (12); Scott (9); Sedgwick (3); Seward (9); Shawnee (7); Sheridan (2); Sherman (2); Smith (1); Stafford (5); Stanton (4); Stevens (3); Sumner (4); Trego (48); Unknown (11); Wabaunsee (2); Wallace (4); Washington (34); Wichita (1); Wilson (33); Woodson (2); Wyandotte (2);

Natural History:
As their name implies, they are quick and are usually just a blur when you encounter them. These lizards are easiest to observe under cover on cool mornings. They are most common in areas with sandy soils.
By the heat of the day, they are out actively searching for invertebrates to eat. Hartman (1906) summarized that due to their speed, no insect could escape them, except by flight. He reported grasshoppers, cockroaches, tiger-beetles, and other beetles as prey items. 


Occurrence Activity:
White dates indicate there is at least a single recorded occurrence on that date. The darker blue a date is, the greater the relative number of observations for that date.
Remarks:
First reported in Kansas by Hallowell (1856). The earliest existing specimen is from 1871 (MCZ 2458).  Cragin (1885) reported a specimen from McPherson County (as Cnemidophornns tessellatus [=Aspidoscelis tessellatus] in error) collected by Dr. John Rundstrom.

Bibliography:
1857 Hallowell, Edward. Note on the collection of reptiles from the neighborhood of San Antonio, Texas, recently presented to the Academy of Natural Sciences by Dr. A. Heerman. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia 8():306-310
1857 Hallowell, Edward. Notice of a collection of reptiles from Kansas and Nebraska presented to the Academy of Natural Sciences, by Doctor Hammond, U. S. A. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia 8():238-253
1879 Bocourt, M. F. Etudes sur les reptiles, p. i-xiv, 1-1012. In Recherches Zoologiques pour servir a l'Histoire de Ia Faune de l'Amérique Centrale et du Mexique. Mission Scientifique au Mexique et dans l'Amérique Centrale, Recherches zoologiques. Part 2, sect. 1; In A Imprimerie Impériale, Paris [3, Pt. 6]. A Imprimerie Impériale, Paris, France.. 360–440pp.
1885 Cragin, Francis W. Recent additions to the list of Kansas reptiles and batrachians, with further notes on species previously reported. Bulletin of the Washburn College Laboratory of Natural History 1(3):100-103
1885 Cragin, Francis W. Second contribution to the herpetology of Kansas, with observations on the Kansas fauna. Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science 9():136-140
1900 Cope, Edward D. The crocodilians, lizards and snakes of North America. Pages 153-1270 in Report of the U. S. National Museum for the Year Ending June 30, 1898 , Washington, D. C. pp.
1906 Hartman, Frank A. Food habits of Kansas lizards and batrachians. Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science 20():225-229
1920 Taylor, Edward H. The Lizards of Kansas with Notes on Habits. Thesis. University of Kansas, Lawrence. 117pp.
1928 Burt, Charles E. Insect food of Kansas lizards with notes on feeding habits. Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society 1(3):50-68
1928 Burt, Charles E. Some distributional and ecological records of Kansas reptiles. Transactions of the Academy of Science St. Louis 26():186-208
1929 Taylor, Edward H. List of reptiles and batrachians of Morton County, Kansas, reporting species new to the state fauna. University of Kansas Science Bulletin 19(6):63-65
1934 Brennan, Lawrence A. A check list of the amphibians and reptiles of Ellis County, Kansas. Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science 37():189-191
1934 Burt, Charles E. and W. L. Hoyle. Additional records of the reptiles of the central prairie region of the United States. Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science 37():193-216
1935 Brennan, Lawrence A. Notes on the Distribution of Amphibia and Reptilia of Ellis County, Kansas. Thesis. Fort Hays State University, Hays, Kansas. 114pp.
1935 Burt, Charles E. Further records of the ecology and distribution of amphibians and reptiles in the middle west. American Midland Naturalist 16(3):311-366
1935 Burt, Charles E. and William L. Hoyle. Additional records of the reptiles of the central prairie region of the United States Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science 37():193-216
1937 Brennan, Lawrence A. A study of the habitat of reptiles and amphibians of Ellis County, Kansas. Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science 40():341-347
1940 Taylor, Edward H. Palatal sesamoid bones and palatal teeth in Cnemidophorus, with notes on these teeth in other saurian genera. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 53():119-124
1944 Marr, John C. Notes on amphibians and reptiles from the central United States. American Midland Naturalist 32(2):478-490
1956 Loomis, Richard B. The chigger mites of Kansas (Acarina, Trombiculidae). University of Kansas Science Bulletin 37():1195-1443
1958 Fitch, Henry S. Natural history of the Six-lined Racerunner (Cnemidophorus sexlineatus). University of Kansas Publications Museum of Natural History 11(2):11-62
1962 Duellman, William E. and Richard G. Zweifel. A synopsis of the lizards of the sexlineatus group (Genus Cnemidophorus). Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 123(3):155-210
1962 Gish, Charles D. The Herpetofauna of Ellis County, Kansas. Thesis. Fort Hays State University, Hays, Kansas. 34pp.
1970 Webb, Robert G. Reptiles of Oklahoma. Stovall Museum, University of Oklahoma Press, Norman. 370pp.
1976 Caldwell, Janalee P. and Gregory. Glass. Vertebrates of the Woodson County State Fishing Lake and Game Management Area. Pages 62-76 in Preliminary inventory of the biota of Woodson County State Fishing Lake and Game Management Area. Report No. 5. State Biological Survey of Kansas, Lawrence. pp.
1977 Knight, James L. and Joseph T. Collins. The amphibians and reptiles of Cheyenne County, Kansas, Report Number 15. Kansas Biological Survey, Lawrence. 19pp.
1980 Clarke, Robert F. Herptiles and fishes of the western Arkansas River in Kansas. United States Army Corps of Engineers, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 55pp.
1982 Fitch, Henry S. Resources of a snake community in prairie-woodland habitat of northeastern Kansas. Pages 83-97 in Herpetological communities: A symposium of the Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles and the Herpetologists League, August 1977.  Wildlife Research Reports 12. 239 pp. U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington, D. C. pp.
1989 Collins, Joseph T. New records of amphibians and reptiles in Kansas for 1988. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (75):15-18
1991 Collins, Joseph T. and Suzanne L. Collins. Reptiles and Amphibians of the Cimarron National Grasslands, Morton County, Kansas. U. S. Forest Service, Elkhart, Kansas. 60pp.
1991 Fitch, Henry S. Reptiles and amphibians of the Kansas ecological reserves. Pages 71-74 in Multidisciplinary Guidebook 4. Kansas Academy of Science, Lawrence. pp.
1992 Taggart, Travis W. Results of the KHS annual field trip to Sheridan County State Lake. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (90):3
1996 Trauth, Stanley E. and Chris T. McAllister. Cnemidophorus sexlineatus. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles (628):1-12
2000 Taggart, Travis W. Biogeographic analysis of the reptiles (Squamata) in Ellis County, Kansas. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (121):7-16
2000 Van Doren, Mark D. and Curtis J. Schmidt. A herpetological survey of the Fort Larned National Historic Site, Pawnee County, Kansas. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (120):8-11
2001 Schmidt, Curtis J. The amphibians, turtles, and reptiles of the Smoky Valley Ranch, Logan County, Kansas. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (124):9-11
2001 Taggart, Travis W. Results of the KHS spring field trip west. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (125):10
2001 Taggart, Travis W. The KHS 2001 spring field trip: A rainy rendezvous. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (124):12-14
2002 Miller, Larry L. Sumner County herp count. Journal of Kansas Herpetology (4):15
2002 Riedle, J. Daren and A. Hynek. Amphibian and reptile inventory of the Kansas Army Ammunition Plant, Labette County, Kansas. Journal of Kansas Herpetology (2):18-20
2002 Taggart, Travis W. Results of the spring 2002 KHS field trip. Journal of Kansas Herpetology (3):6-7
2003 Taggart, Travis W. Logan County herp count. Journal of Kansas Herpetology (7):8
2004 Delisle, Jennifer M. and William H. Busby Biological inventory for vertebrates at Fort Larned National Historic Site of the southern plains network. Natural Heritage Inventory, Kansas Biological Survey, Lawrence. 61pp.
2004 Taggart, Travis W. Results of the KHS 2004 fall feld trip . Journal of Kansas Herpetology (12):15-16
2005 Taggart, Travis W. Results of the KHS 2005 fall field trip [to Crawford County]. Journal of Kansas Herpetology (16):19-21
2006 Taggart, Travis W. Addendum report to biological inventory of the sandsage prairie near Holcomb, Kansas. Sunflower Electric Cooperative, Hays, Kansas. 31pp.
2006 Taggart, Travis W. Distribution and status of Kansas herpetofauna in need of information. State Wildlife Grant T7. Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, Pratt. vii + 106pp.
2007 Taggart, Travis W. A biological inventory of the Sunflower Electric Site near Holcomb, Kansas. Journal of Kansas Herpetology 23():11-16
2007 Taggart, Travis W., Joseph T. Collins, and Curtis J. Schmidt. Estimates of amphibian, reptile, and turtle mortality if Phostoxin is applied to 10,000 acres of prairie dog burrows in Logan County, Kansas. Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, Pratt. 5pp.
2008 Taggart, Travis W. KHS 2008 spring field trip. Journal of Kansas Herpetology (25):2-3
2010 Miller, Larry L. 2010 Investigation of the Checkered Garter Snake in Kansas with notes on other Amphibians, Reptiles, and Turtles encountered. Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, Pratt, Kansas. 31pp.
2012 Hamilton, Bryan Tyler, Rachel Hart , and Jack W. Sites Jr. Feeding Ecology of the Milksnake (Lampropeltis triangulum, Colubridae) in the Western United States. Journal of Herpetology 46(4):515-522
2012 Rohweder, Megan R. Spatial conservation prioritization of Kansas for terrestrial vertebrates. Thesis. Fort Hays State University, Hays, Kansas. 151pp.
2015 Brown, Kasandra A. Occupancy Modeling Of Herpetofauna And Grassland Nesting Birds At Quivira National Wildlife Refuge. Thesis. Fort Hays State University, Hays, Kansas. 72pp.
2016 Pittman, Galen L., Henry S. Fitch, and W. Dean Kettle Vertebrate animals on the Fitch Natural History Reservation (1948-2002) Kansas Biological Survey Report Number 188, Lawrence. 48pp.
Account Last Updated:
6/26/2018 4:49:11 PM


Travis W. Taggart © 2020 — Sternberg Museum of Natural History, Fort Hays State University