T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Skink (Brown) Oligosoma zelandicum

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Family: Scincidae
Genus: Oligosoma
Species: O. zelandicum
Binomial name: Oligosoma zelandicum
Synonyms: Tiliqua zelandica, Mocoa zelandica, Lygosoma zelandica, Leiolopisma ornate, Leiolopisma zelandicum, Leiolopisma zelandica, Oligosoma zelandica
Common name: Brown skink

Oligosoma zelandicum is a species of skink native to New Zealand. 
It is relatively numerous and is found South-western North Island from Taranaki to Wellington in the North Island and in on the Marlborough Sounds, Nelson and northern Westland in the South Island. It is typically found in lowland areas, but on Mount Taranaki, it lives up to 1000 m above sea level.
It likes densely vegetated damp areas in lowland areas, including forest, scrub, farmland and coastlines, including among pohuehue on boulder banks. It often co-exists with the similar-looking common skink (Oligosoma polychrome). It is active during the day and it often secretively sun-basks.

Oligosoma zelandicum's back is a light to dark brown, sometimes with greyish or reddish tones, sometimes with an indefinite dark brown mid-dorsal (middle of back) stripe, and often with indefinite lighter and darker flecking. Its sides are brown or grey-brown, often flecked; upper areas often with a broad dark brown stripe that is typically bordered above (but narrowing or ending before tail) by a thin cream stripe, and sometimes below by a very thin, often fractured cream stripe. Some shoreline populations are blackish in colour. This skinks throat is grey and is often flecked with black. The belly is grey, straw-brown or flushed red or orange, and sometimes flecked with black. The soles of the feet is a dark brown or black. Theymeasure up to 73 mm from snout tip to vent.
This skinks population is declining through rodent predation.



Thanks to Wikipedia for text and information: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/