Description: A small to medium sized lizard (6-9 inches or 15-24cm) that is black above with six pale yellow or white stripes extending down the length and tail. The scales are rough in appearance, and the underside is white or pale blueish. The tail is longer than the body in most individuals.
Natural History: This extremely fast lizard is most active on hot days in dry, open habitats. This includes fields, sand barrens, coastal dunes, and forest edges. They patrol the ground for small invertebrates during the day and are predated upon by snakes and birds that can chase them down. During cool days, or at night, they will take refuge in shallow burrows or under debris.
Similar Species: Several skinks (Plestiodon sp.) will have a black dorsum with white strips. However, skinks have notably smooth scales giving them a glossy/shiny appearance.
Distribution: This lizard occurs down the east coast from Maryland into Florida. The range extends as far west as eastern New Mexico and Colorado.
Contributed by Jake Zadik (12/04/2019)
Click here to view South Carolina county records of this species on Herpmapper.org