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

Skink (McCann's skink) Oligosoma maccanni

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Family: Scincidae
Genus: Oligosoma
Species: O. maccanni
Binomial name: Oligosoma maccanni
Synonyms: Leiolopisma nigriplantare maccanni, Leiolopisma nigriplantare maccanni, Leiolopisma maccanni,
Common name: McCann’s skink

Oligosoma maccanni is a non threatened species of an indigenous, endemic skink found in New Zealand. This species was named after the herpetologist Charles McCann (1899-1980), a former vertebrate zoologist at the Dominion Museum in Wellington. 
Oligosoma maccanni is found in the lower south of the North Island, and in Canterbury, Otago and Southland in the South Island. It is found mostly inland up to 1700 m above sea level but in Otago and Banks Peninsula it inhabits coastal areas. It inhabits sand dunes, grasslands, herbfields, scrub, rocky areas including tors, outcrops and scree. It is diurnal and is an avid sun-basker.

Oligosoma maccanni is a small to medium skink measuring up to 73 mm from snout tip to vent (opening through which the animal defecates). The overall length including tail can be 16 cm. This skink's back is grey to light brown, uninformed or patterned with various brown stripes (smooth or notched) and/or large grey blotches (often creating a herringbone or checkerboard effect). A mid-dorsal stripe (stripe along spine) is often present, and breaks up or becomes notched or wavy on the tail. The sides have a broad dark-brown stripe above (bordered by thin pale stripes, often notched) and below this grey or grey-brown. The throat is whitish-grey, often with fine black speckling. The belly is whitish-grey through to a bright yellow, uniform or with fine black speckling. The soles of feet can be a creamy-grey, yellow or brown colour. Smoothly-striped specimens are most common in western Otago/Southland and mid- to northern Canterbury. Specimens from Central Otago are often especially blotchy in appearance.

Studies of this species faecal pellets have shown their diet consists of Diptera, Hemiptera, Coleoptera, Collembola, Hymenoptera, Lepidoptera, Araneae, Acarina, Pseudoscorpiones and vegetation.
Oligosoma maccanni are viviparous (giving live birth). The female is an annual breeder with a spring-summer gestation of 4-5 months. Clutch size range is 2-5.

Like all New Zealand’s skinks, they are fully protected, meaning that they may only be handled, collected or kept in captivity under permit. Predation of this skink occurs by mustelids (ferrets, weasels, stoats) rats and cats.

The photos below were taken at Bendigo, Otago.


Distribution of McCann's skink (Oligosoma maccanni)

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