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Oligosoma otagense (MCCANN, 1955)

IUCN Red List - Oligosoma otagense - Endangered, EN

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Eugongylinae (Eugongylini), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Otago Skink 
SynonymLeiolopisma grande otagense MCCANN 1955
Girardiscincus otagense — WELLS & WELLINGTON 1985
Oligosoma otagense — PATTERSON & DAUGHERTY 1995
Oligosoma otagense — HICKSON et al. 2000
Oligosoma otagense — GAULKE & ALTENBACH 2003
Oligosoma otagense — HITCHMOUGH et al. 2016 
DistributionNew Zealand (Canterbury, Otago, South Island)

Type locality: Otago, Acland.  
TypesHolotype: CMC R566, collected Mr. Acland (listed by Freeman & Tunnicliffe, 1997 and Patterson, 1997). Listed as NMNZ R33 by Hardy, 1977, in error, see Patterson 1997. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: O. otagense can be easily distinguished from all other New Zealand skinks by its unique colour pattern. The very high midbody scale row count overlaps with only three other New Zealand species, O. grande, O. fallai and O. waimatense.
CommentHybridization: captive breeding records have demonstrated the potential for hybridisation between O. otagense and O. waimatense (D. Keall, unpublished data, cited in Chapple et al. 2009). 
EtymologyNamed after the type locality. 
  • Bogisch, M; A Cree & JM Monks 2016. Short-term success of a translocation of Otago skinks (Oligosoma otagense) to Orokonui Ecosanctuary. New Zealand Journal of Zoology, DOI:10.1080/03014223.2015.1122638 - get paper here
  • Chapple, D.G.; Patterson, G.B. 2007. A new skink species (Oligosoma taumakae sp. nov.; Reptilia: Scincidae) from the Open Bay Islands, New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Zoology 34: 347-357 - get paper here
  • 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
  • Cree, Alison and Kelly M. Hare 2016. Reproduction and Life History of New Zealand Lizards. in: Chapple, D.G. (ed). New Zealand Lizards. Springer, pp. 169-206 - get paper here
  • ELANGOVAN, V., A. CREE, J. MONKS, AND S. GODFREY 2020. Oligosoma otagense (Otago Skink). Aggression And Cannibalism. Herpetological Review 51: 129.
  • Gaulke, M. & Altenbach, A. 2003. 100% pure New Zealand. Reptilia (Münster) 8 (41): 56-63 - get paper here
  • Germano, J.M. 2007. Movements, Home Ranges, and Capture Effect of the Endangered Otago Skink (Oligosoma otagense) Journal of Herpetology 41 (2): 179-186. - get paper here
  • Hardy, G. 1977. The New Zealand Scincidae: a taxonomic study. New Zealand Journal of Zoology 4: 221-325 - get paper here
  • HICKSON, Robert E.; KERRYN E. SLACK AND PETER LOCKHART 2000. Phylogeny recapitulates geography, or why New Zealand has so many species of skinks. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 70: 415–433 - get paper here
  • Hitchmough, Rod; Leigh Bull and Pam Cromarty (compilers) 2005. New Zealand Threat Classification System lists. Science & Technical Publishing Department of Conservation, New Zealand, 134 pp.
  • 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
  • McCann, C. 1955. The lizards of New Zealand. Gekkonidae and Scincidae. Dominion Museum Bulletin (17): 1—127.
  • Molinia, Frank C.; Trent Bell, Grant Norbury, Alison Cree, and Dianne M. Gleeson 2010. Assisted breeding of skinks or how to teach a lizard old tricks!. Herp. Cons. Biol. 5 (2) - get paper here
  • Patterson, G.B. 1997. South Island skinks of the genus Oligosoma: description of O. longipes n. sp. with redescription of O. otagense (McCann) and O. waimatense (McCann). Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand 27(4): 439-450. - get paper here
  • Patterson, G.B.; Daugherty, C.H. 1995. Reinstatement of the genus Oligosoma (Reptilia: Lacertilia: Scincidae). J. Royal Soc. New Zealand 25 (3): 327-331 - get paper here
  • Salt, Amanda J. 2016. Oligosoma otagense (Otago Skink), Oligosoma grande (Grand Skink) Predation. Herpetological Review 47 (2): 300 - 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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