Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Six-Lined Racerunner Lizard and Egg

A recent project up at the house had me "borrowing" sand from the power line right of way down by my pond. It's a place of dry, sugary ice age remnant beach sand with sparse, sgnarly smilax vines with big thorns and bad attitudes.

As I tossed yet another shovelful of white sand into the wheelbarrow, out popped this Six-lined Racerunner Lizard, or  Cnemidophorus [Aspidoscelis] sexlineatus for all you science chimps out there.

I had not noticed her before the digging, which meant she must have been under the sand, which probably also meant that she was busy laying eggs when I disturbed her.
She wasn't hurt by the shovel (Woohoo!) so I fished...lizarded her out of the wheelbarrow and let her go.

True to her name, she scooted off uberfast.
I looked in the borrow pit I had created and in the wheelbarrow, but didn't see any eggs.

After a bit, the wheelbarrow (strange word "wheelbarrow"... I get the wheel part ) ...was full and I trudged upslope to my project.

As I unloaded my sand, two eggs fell out of the load. One was damaged (arrrghh!!), but one was perfect.

The reptile egg, the waterproof shell, the reason we are not all still fish, or at least amphibians. Animal life on land had to wait for this little evolutionary wonder before we could truly leave the water's edge...kind of important in my book.

I found some dry sand under my boat (which isn't going anywhere for a while) and gently, gratefully, tucked it in.


threecollie said...

Sweet herptiles alive! You are so fortunate in having so many around you. For some reason this soggy year has been 100% bereft of frogs up here and we have only see two toads! Quite a few snakes, but only garter and milk.

Island Rider said...

Aww. You are going to be a lizard daddy!

Pablo said...

. . . being the nice guy that you are, of course.

Miz S said...

What a tiny, perfect egg. Good eye, FC.

lisa said...

You are the hero of the day, saving the egg from disaster ;)

Julie Zickefoose said...

This Science Chimp thanks you for the Latin. It's been raining a lot there lately, yes? Which is why you tried to find dry sand for the egg...will it need a little irrigation from time to time in order not to dry out?
A lovely lizard. We have so very few--five-lined skink and northern fence lizard, perhaps one sighting a year on average of one or the other. Of course I always chunk mealworms at them when I see them, just to thank them for being.

R.Powers said...

Yes Julie, "under" the boat really means under the trailer edge where the grass stops and open sand rules. Still gets moisturized.

Pablo said...

Also, well groomed finger nails!

Just sayin'

R.Powers said...

Its a bit of serendipity when I happen to take a hand photo with clean nails.