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

Skink (Shore) Oligosoma smithii

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Family: Scincidae
Genus: Oligosoma
Species: O. smithii
Binomial name: Oligosoma smithii
Synonyms: Mocoa smithii, Euprepes smithii, Lygosomella aestuosa, Lygosoma moco, Lygosoma smithi, Lampropholis smithii, Norbea isolata, Mocoa zealandica, Liolepisma smithii, Leiolopisma aestuosa, Leiolopisma smithii, Leiolopisma smithi smithi, Leiolopisma smithi numerale,
Common names: Shore skink, Smith's skink, Tatahi skink

Oligosoma smithii is a species of skink native to the north half of the North Island of New Zealand. It can be found on the west coast north of Muriwai Beach near Auckland, The northern east coast bays such as Mimiwhangata, east coast north of Gisborne and it is widespread on northern off-shore islands including six islands and islets in the Three Kings group (Great Island, North East Island, Hinemoa Rock, Tutanekai Rock, Arbutus Rock and South West Island)  Oligosoma smithii was reintroduced to Matakohe-Limestone Island in the Whangarei harbour 2007.
The shore skink is always found near the shoreline inhabiting the upper, open beach area, especially where cobbles abound and where wind and tide accumulate driftwood and mats of seaweed at the high tide mark. It eats mainly sandhoppers and other arthropods that fit in its mouth. The shore skink is diurnal (active during the day) and spends most of its time hunting or basking in the sun. It is small, growing to 8 cm and well camouflaged. This skink may be found in a range of colours, sometimes almost black.

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