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Oligosoma pikitanga BELL & PATTERSON, 2008

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Eugongylinae (Eugongylini), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Sinbad skink 
SynonymOligosoma pikitanga BELL & PATTERSON 2008
Oligosoma sp 1 — JEWELL 2008
Oligosoma pikitanga — HITCHMOUGH et al. 2016 
DistributionNew Zealand

Type locality: ) Sinbad Gully, Llawrenny Peaks, Fiordland (44°38'44.46'' S 167°48'19.65'' E; New Zealand Map Grid (NZMG)
reference E2098195 N2098195, map series 260, sheet code D40.), 1100 m elevation.  
TypesHolotype: NMNZ (Te Papa Tongawera Museum of NZ) RE 5315 (juvenile male), collected by T. Jewell, March 2004. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: This medium sized skink (SVL up to ~91mm, 188 mm total length and 15g weight) is relatively easily distinguished from all other Oligosoma species, having a characteristic appearance with large green dorsal speckles against a black dorsal base colour, a black upper-lateral band with large salmon-pink lateral speckles, a pale grey chin and a belly flushed with vivid orange. O. pikitanga has a shiny, glossy appearance, and is slender with long toes and long tail. The nearest genetically-related species are each further separated by distinct counts of mid-body scale rows (O. pikitanga 38; O. infrapunctatum 29–37; O. otagense 46–72; O. taumakae 32–34; O. waimatense 50–68), ventral scale rows (O. pikitanga 78–88; O. acrinasum 90– 100), subdigital lamellae (O. pikitanga 20–23; O. acrinasum 16–19) or the relative size of the dorsal scales (in O. pikitanga smaller than ventrals; in O. infrapunctatum larger). This species is allopatric to all other genetically-related species. 
CommentAbundance: only known from its original description (Meiri et al. 2017). 
EtymologyThe English words ‘mountain climber’ can be translated into the Maori language as ‘pikitanga’ and is applied to this skink in reference to the species’ alpine ecology. 
  • Bell, T.P. & Patterson, G.B. 2008. A rare alpine skink Oligosoma pikitanga n. sp. (Reptilia: Scincidae) from Llawrenny Peaks, Fiordland, New Zealand. Zootaxa 1882: 57–68 - 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, Tony 2008. A Photographic Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of New Zealand [with corrections and comments in Chapple & Hitchmough 2009]. New Holland Publishers (NZ) Ltd,Auckland, 143 pp.
  • JEWELL, TONY R. 2017. Oligosoma awakopaka n. sp. (Reptilia: Scincidae) from Fiordland National Park, NZ. BioGecko (4): 4-19
  • Meiri, Shai; Aaron M. Bauer, Allen Allison, Fernando Castro-Herrera, Laurent Chirio, Guarino Colli, Indraneil Das, Tiffany M. Doan, Frank Glaw, Lee L. Grismer, Marinus Hoogmoed, Fred Kraus, Matthew LeBreton, Danny Meirte, Zoltán T. Nagy, Cristiano d 2017. Extinct, obscure or imaginary: the lizard species with the smallest ranges. Diversity and Distributions - get paper here
  • Patterson, G.B. & Bell, T.P. 2009. The Barrier skink Oligosoma judgei n. sp. (Reptilia: Scincidae) from the Darran and Takitimu Mountains, South Island, New Zealand. Zootaxa 2271: 43–56 - 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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