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Oligosoma albornense MELZER, HITCHMOUGH, BELL, CHAPPLE & PATTERSON, 2019

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Eugongylinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesAlborn skink 
SynonymOligosoma albornense MELZER, HITCHMOUGH, BELL, CHAPPLE & PATTERSON 2019
Oligosoma infrapunctatum — GREAVES et al. 2008
Oligosoma infrapunctatum — CHAPPLE et al 2009
Oligosoma aff. infrapunctatum “Chesterfield” — HITCHMOUGH et al. 2007
Oligosoma aff. infrapunctatum “Chesterfield” — HITCHMOUGH et al. 2010
Oligosoma aff. infrapunctatum “Chesterfield” — HITCHMOUGH et al. 2013;
Oligosoma aff. infrapunctatum “Alborn” — HITCHMOUGH et al. 2016a
Oligosoma aff. infrapunctatum “Alborn” — HITCHMOUGH et al. 2016b
Oligosoma aff. infrapunctatum “Alborn” — VAN WINKEL et al. 2018 
DistributionNew Zealand (West Coast of the South Island)

Type locality: Alborn Coal Mine (42° 31’S, 171° 52’E)  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype: NMNZ RE005339, female, coll. R. van Mierlo, P. van Klink, 14 Oct 1997. Paratypes (3 specimens). Alborn Coal Mine (42° 31’S, 171° 52’E), 2 specimens: NMNZ RE005341, female; NMNZ RE005350, male (coll. R. van Mierlo, P. van Klink, 14 Oct 1997); Alborn Coal Mine (42° 31’S, 171° 52’E), NMNZ RE005366, female (coll. R. van Mierlo, P. van Klink, 06 Jan 1998). 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. O. albornense can be distinguished from other species in the O. infrapunctatum species complex by a combination of characters (Figure 4a–j). Compared with O. newmani nuchal pairs are usually 3 or below versus 3 or above (O. albornense); usually 69 or more VS (O. newmani) versus 69 or fewer VS (O. albornense). HL/HW is always 1.7 or below in O. albornense whereas it is usually 1.7 or above in O. newmani. O. robinsoni differs from O. albornense in having a VS count usually 69 or greater versus 69 or below (O. albornense); upper ciliaries 6 or less (O. albornense) versus usually 6 or more; ventral speckling much more pronounced in O. robinsoni than O. albornense. In O. robinsoni SVL/HW is usually 11 or below, whereas in O. salmo it is 11 or above. There are statistical differences between O. salmo and O. albornense (upper ciliaries, HL/HW, S-Ear/EF, VS). O. salmo has 5 supraciliaries only, versus 6 or more in O. albornense. There are statistical differences between O. albornense and O. auroraensis sp. nov. (VS). It differs from O. auroraensis in having subdigital lamellae usually 21 or above (O. auroraensis sp. nov.) versus 21 or below. It appears to have a shorter tail (1.28 TL/SVL versus mean TL/SVL of 1.38 in O. auroraensis sp. nov.). 
CommentHabitat: cool, mid-altitude, steep region that experiences high rainfall over the greywacke/argillite mountains, where much of the original forest remains. The species was originally discovered among discarded mine machinery in an area where native vegetation was regenerating after mining stopped and has now been found in nearby wetland areas. It appears to be a species of forest gaps, wetland edges and high points (to c. 600 m ASL). It is currently known from artificial clearings in beech forest, pākihi, wetlands and regenerating shrubland (van Winkel et al. 2018). May occur in forest, or small wetlands within a forest matrix. When pākihi habitats flood after heavy rains, the species uses high points and logs to escape the water (van Winkel et al. 2018).

Behavior: Diurnal, heliothermic, terrestrial. 
EtymologyThe scientific name is derived from the type locality, the Alborn Coal Mine of the South Island. 
References
  • Chapple, David G.; Peter A. Ritchie, Charles H. Daugherty 2009. Origin, diversification, and systematics of the New Zealand skink fauna (Reptilia: Scincidae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 52 (2): 470-487 - get paper here
  • Greaves, Stephanie N.J.; David G. Chapple, Charles H. Daugherty, Dianne M. Gleeson and Peter A. Ritchie 2008. Genetic divergences pre-date Pleistocene glacial cycles in the New Zealand speckled skink, Oligosoma infrapunctatum. Journal of Biogeography 35: 853–864
  • Hitchmough, R. A., Hoare, J.M., Jamieson, H., Newman, D., Tocher, M.D. and Anderson, P. J. 2010. Conservation status of New Zealand reptiles, 2009. New Zealand Journal of Zoology 37 (3): 203-224
  • Hitchmough, R., Anderson, P., Barr, B., Monks, J., Lettink, M., Reardon, J., Tocher, M. & Whitaker, T. 2013. Conservation status of New Zealand reptiles, 2012. In: New Zealand Threat Classification Series 2. Department of Conservation, Wellington, pp. 1–16
  • Hitchmough, R., Bull, L. & Cromarty, P. 2007. New Zealand Threat Classification System lists—2005. Department of Conservation, Wellington, 194 pp
  • Hitchmough, Rod; Ben Barr, Marieke Lettink, Jo Monks, James Reardon, Mandy Tocher, Dylan van Winkel and Jeremy Rolfe 2016. Conservation status of New Zealand reptiles, 2015. New Zeland Department of Conservation, 14 pp. - get paper here
  • Hitchmough, Rodney A.; Geoffrey B. Patterson, and David G. Chapple 2016. Putting a Name to Diversity: Taxonomy of the New Zealand Lizard Fauna in: Chapple, D.G. (ed). New Zealand Lizards. Springer, pp. 87-108 - get paper here
  • MELZER, SABINE; ROD A. HITCHMOUGH, TRENT BELL, DAVID G. CHAPPLE & GEOFF B. PATTERSON 2019. Lost and Found: Taxonomic revision of the speckled skink (Oligosoma infrapunctatum; Reptilia; Scincidae) species complex from New Zealand reveals a potential cryptic extinction, resurrection of two species, and description of three new species. Zootaxa 4623 (3): 441–484 - get paper here
  • van Winkel, D., Baling, M. & Hitchmough, R. 2018. Reptiles and Amphibians of New Zealand: A field guide. Auckland University Press, Auckland, 376 pp
 
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