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

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Eugongylinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesHawke’s Bay skink, Eastern speckled skink 
SynonymOligosoma auroraensis MELZER, HITCHMOUGH, BELL, CHAPPLE & PATTERSON 2019
Leiolopisma infrapunctatum — HARDY 1977
Oligosoma infrapunctatum — BIDINOSTI et al. 2008
Oligosoma infrapunctatum — GREAVES et al. 2008
Oligosoma infrapunctatum — CHAPPLE et al. 2009
Oligosoma infrapunctatum — JEWELL & MORRIS 2011
Oligosoma infrapunctatum — TOWNS et al. 2002
Oligosoma infrapunctatum — DENT 2016
Oligosoma aff. infrapunctatum “southern North Island” — HITCHMOUGH et al. 2007
Oligosoma aff. infrapunctatum “southern North Island” — HITCHMOUGH et al. 2010
Oligosoma aff. infrapunctatum “southern North Island” — HITCHMOUGH et al. 2013
Oligosoma aff. infrapunctatum “southern North Island” — BELL 2014
Oligosoma aff. infrapunctatum “southern North Island” — HITCHMOUGH et al. 2016a
Oligosoma aff. infrapunctatum “southern North Island” — HITCHMOUGH et al. 2016b
Oligosoma “southern North Island” — WILES et al. 2017
Oligosoma aff. infrapunctatum “Hawke’s Bay” — VAN WINKEL et al. 2018 
DistributionNew Zwaland (Hawke’s Bay region of the North Island)

Type locality: Ocean Beach, Cape Kidnappers (39° 45’S, 177° 00’E)  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype: NMNZ RE007397, male,, coll. T. Bell 26 Mar 2015).
Paratypes: (4 specimens). Ocean Beach, Cape Kidnappers (39° 45’S, 177° 00’E), 4 specimens: NMNZ RE007400, female; NMNZ RE007398, female; NMNZ RE007399, female; NMNZ RE007396, female (coll. T. Bell 26 Mar 2015). 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. O. auroraensis can be distinguished from other species in the O. infrapunctatum species complex by a combination of characters (Figure 4a–j). Compared with O. newmani which has 20 or fewer subdigital lamellae on fourth hind toe O. auroraensis usually has more than 20. The mean TL/SVL in O. auroraensis is 1.38 compared with 1.22 for O. newmani and there is also a significantly higher VS count in O. auroraensis compared with O. newmani. There are statistical differences between O. albornense and O. auroraensis (VS). O. albornense differs from O. auroraensis in having subdigital lamellae usually 21 or above (O. auroraensis) versus 21 or below. O. albornense appears to have a shorter tail (1.28 TL/SVL versus mean TL/SVL of 1.38 in O. auroraensis). VS count in O. robinsoni is usually less than 75 whereas in O. auroraensis it is greater than 75. It differs from O. robinsoni in having subdigital lamellae usually 21 or above (O. auroraensis) versus usually 21 or below. The mid-dorsal stripe is to base of tail in O. robinsoni, past base of tail in O. auroraensis. There are statistical differences between O. salmo and O. auroraensis (VS). O. salmo usually has fewer than 20 subdigital lamellae on the fourth hind toe versus usually greater than 20. It differs from O. auroraensis in having subdigital lamellae usually 21 or above (O. auroraensis) versus usually 21 or below. It appears to have a shorter tail (1.25 TL/SVL versus mean TL/SVL of 1.38 in O. auroraensis). None of the O. auroraensis specimens have the extra scale between prefrontals possessed by O. infrapunctatum and O. auroraensis has 7 infralabials whereas O. infrapunctatum has 8. 
CommentHabitat: coastal dunes, grassland, low shrubland, scrubland and coastal forest edges 
EtymologyThe scientific name is derived from the meaning of aurora ‘of the dawn’ and the eastern location of the species. 
References
  • Bell, Trent. 2014. Standardized common names for New Zealand reptiles. BioGecko (2): 8-11 - get paper here
  • Bidinosti, L., Flynn, K., Leith, J. & Ocock, J. 2008. Skink biodiversity at Cape Kidnappers: historic distribution, current status and future prospects. What was, what is and what could be. Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, 43 pp
  • 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
  • Hardy, G. 1977. The New Zealand Scincidae: a taxonomic study. New Zealand Journal of Zoology 4: 221-325 - get paper here
  • 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
  • Jewell, T. & Morris, R. 2011. A photographic guide to reptiles & amphibians of New Zealand. New Holland Publishers (NZ) Ltd, Auckland, 143 pp
  • 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
  • Towns, D.R.; Neilson, K. and Whitaker, A.H. 2002. North Island Oligosoma spp. Skink recovery plan. Threatened species recovery plan 48. Department of Conservation, Wellington
  • 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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