Teiidae – Whiptails

Incredibly fast runners, with some species capable of reaching speeds of up to 32 km/h (20mph)

The family Teiidae is a diverse group of lizards commonly known as whiptails, racerunners, and tegus. These lizards are primarily found in the Americas, from the southern United States to South America. Known for their speed, agility, and vibrant patterns, Teiidae lizards are a fascinating family of reptiles that thrive in a variety of habitats.

Teiidae lizards vary greatly in size, coloration, and pattern, but they share some common characteristics. Most have long, slender bodies, powerful legs, and long tails. The tails are often twice the length of their bodies and are used for balance and agility. These lizards are typically covered in smooth, shiny scales that give them a sleek appearance. Their coloration can range from dull browns and grays to bright greens, yellows, and blues. Many species have distinctive patterns, such as stripes, spots, or a combination of both. These vibrant patterns not only make them visually striking but also help them blend into their environments.

Teiidae lizards are highly adaptable and can be found in a wide range of habitats, including deserts, forests, grasslands, and wetlands. They are particularly common in open, sunny areas where they can bask to regulate their body temperature. These lizards are diurnal, meaning they are active during the day and rest at night.

In North America, whiptails and racerunners are commonly found in the southwestern United States and Mexico. In South America, tegus are widespread, inhabiting a variety of ecosystems from the Amazon rainforest to the pampas of Argentina.