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            October 8, 2006

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Rainbow Ameiva

The Rainbow Racerunner Ameiva is also known as the "Whiptail Lizard", "Rainbow Ameiva", and "Rainbow Lizard".

The Rainbow Racerunner Ameiva is a lively and attractive lizard that is becoming more popular in the pet trade. In the wild, these lively lizards will actively forage for food. They have good senses of vision and smell, which they use for detecting prey. Rainbow Racerunner Ameivas, like other whiptail lizards are generally not territorial in the wild. This may be because these lizards enjoy wide territories in which they hunt and live. In the wild, like most whiptails, the Rainbow Racerunner Ameiva will feed on termites. Though they are also known to eat other invertebrates including, ant lions, arachnids, beetles, beetle larvae, caterpillars, grasshoppers, and leafhoppers. In captivity, it is important that these beautiful lizards have ultraviolet light daily as well as adequate humidity levels maintained in their enclosures. Humidity levels should be maintained at an average 65 percent. Regular misting can help to achieve the desired humidity levels. The average enclosure consists of a 20-gallon aquarium, with a two-inch substrate covering the bottom. Climbing branches and hiding places should also be provided. Feeding is similar to their native diets, and should consist of a variety of insects including crickets, mealworms, superworms, and waxworms. Some individuals may also occasionally accept fruit. They should also be given a water dish that is not too deep.

The mature Rainbow Racerunner Ameiva will reach lengths up to 10 inches in length. Their overall color is green, though they have light yellowish spotting on their sides with stripes running along their backs.

Rainbow Racerunner Ameivas enjoy a large range from Honduras to Southern California in the United States. The Rainbow Racerunner Ameiva is a member of a larger group of reptiles known as "whiptail lizards". Whiptail lizards are members of the genus " Cnemidophorus". Whiptail lizards may also be known as "racerunners", hence this species' common name. There are several subspecies of Rainbow Racerunner Ameiva, which include the Seven Lined Racerunner, Deppe's Split Racerunner and Deppe's Inferno Racerunner. There may be as many as five different subspecies.

Rainbow Racerunner Ameivas should have approximately 12 hours of ultraviolet light daily. Temperature levels should be kept between 80 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit, though warmer areas should be provided for basking. Humidity levels should be maintained at an average 65 percent. The Rainbow Racerunner Ameiva is reported to be sensitive to a lack of humidity, so regular misting is strongly recommended. It is also a good idea to dust their insect diet with a multivitamin supplement, as well as calcium.

Photo by Alvaro Guerrero         Click here to comment on this picture .

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