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Oligosoma elium MELZER, BELL & PATTERSON, 2017

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Eugongylinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesMarlborough spotted skink 
SynonymOligosoma elium MELZER, BELL & PATTERSON 2017
Oligosoma aff. lineoocellatum “South Marlborough”— HITCHMOUGH et al. 2007
Oligosoma aff. lineoocellatum “South Marlborough”— HITCHMOUGH et al. 2010 Oligosoma aff. lineoocellatum “South Marlborough”— HITCHMOUGH et al. 2013
Oligosoma aff. lineoocellatum “South Marlborough”— HITCHMOUGH et al. 2016 
DistributionNew Zealand (Motunau Island)

Type locality: Motunau Island, Canterbury (43° 04’S, 173° 04’E), Map legend:
Type locality - Type locality.
 
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype. NMNZ RE003737 (S 92), female (coll. A. Whitaker, 20 Feb 1967).
Paratypes (9 specimens). Motunau Island, Canterbury (43o 04’S, 173o 04’E), 2 specimens (NMNZ RE001745 (2/2/8.33), female; NMNZ RE001745 (2/2/8.34), male) (coll. A. Whitaker, unknown date); Motunau Island, Canterbury (43o 04’S, 173o 04’E), 3 specimens (NMNZ RE003736 (S 91), male; NMNZ RE003738 (S 93), male; NMNZ RE003820 (S 178), male) (coll. A. Whitaker, 20 Feb 1967); Waipapa Bay (42o 15’S, 173o 49’E), NMNZ RE004192 (S550), female (coll. A. Whitaker, 03 Dec 1969); Montrose Stream, Waiau River (42o 46’S, 172o 43’E), NMNZ RE004191 (S549), male (coll. A. Whitaker, 27 Nov 1969); Jack Taylor’s farm, Ward (41o 48’S, 174o 03’E), NMNZ RE005463, OR (coll. R. Ainsworth, 08 Feb 1988). 
CommentDiagnosis. Oligosoma elium can be distinguished from other species in the O. lineoocellatum species complex by a combination of characters. The subdigital lamellae count is usually above 24, compared with O. kokowai sp. nov. and O. lineoocellatum where it is usually below 24. There are significant differences between O. elium sp. nov. and O. kokowai sp. nov. (lower ciliary count, AG/SF), O. lineoocellatum (midbody scales), and O. prasinum sp. nov. (midbody scales, upper ciliary count) (Figure 6a-e). Adpressed limbs always meet in O. elium sp. nov., whereas in O. lineoocellatum they usually do not. In O. elium sp. nov. the lateral brown stripe is 2 or 3 scale rows wide, whereas in the other species it is 3 or 4 scale rows wide. The pale dorsolateral strip is pronounced, particularly anteriorly, compared with O. prasinum sp. nov. where this stripe is usually indistinct. 
EtymologyThe specific name means “olive” in Greek. 
References
  • 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., Barr, B., Lettink, M., Monks, J., Reardon, J., Tocher, M., van Winkel, D. & Rolfe, J. 2016. Conservation status of New Zealand reptiles, 2015. In: New Zealand Threat Classification Series 17. Department of Conservation, Wellington, pp. 1–22
  • Hitchmough, R., Bull, L. & Cromarty, P. 2007. New Zealand Threat Classification System lists—2005. Department of Conservation, Wellington, 194 pp
  • MELZER, SABINE; TRENT BELL, GEOFF B. PATTERSON 2017. Hidden conservation vulnerability within a cryptic species complex: taxonomic revision of the spotted skink (Oligosoma lineoocellatum; Reptilia: Scincidae) from New Zealand. Zootaxa 4300 (3): 355–379 - get paper here
 
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