Lizards of West Virginia

Identification and Natural History


Back to Field Guide

Family: Phrynosomatidae

  Northern Fence-Lizard

Family: Scincidae

  Little Brown Skink

  Common Five-lined Skink

  Broad-headed Skink

  Northern Coal Skink

Family: Teiidae

  Eastern Six-lined Racerunner




There are 6 species of lizards in West Virginia in 3 families.  Some of these are very common in the state.  Fence lizards and five-lined skinks can easily be found on dry forested hillsides or around old buildings.  Ground skinks are common in localized areas, though they are difficult to find because of their secretive nature.  Broad-heads and coal skinks are more difficult to find. 

The six-lined racerunner was just added to the state list this August.  Only one population is known in the state and it is likely that the lizard has entered West Virginia via railroad bridges crossing the Potomac River from Maryland! 

All of the lizards in West Virginia are relatively small in size (between 4 - 12 inches long).  They are all insectivores and active during the daytime, usually during the hottest months of the year. 

Click on the names to the left to learn about each species.

Page was created by Jeff Humphries and is now maintained by the Herpetology Lab at Marshall University.

  Last update 2/03.
Questions or comments on the web page email Dr. Thomas K. Pauley at