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Oligosoma pikitanga BELL & PATTERSON, 2008

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Eugongylinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesSinbad 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. Map legend:
Type locality - Type locality.
 
Reproductionviviparous 
TypesHolotype: NMNZ (Te Papa Tongawera Museum of NZ) RE 5315 (juvenile male), collected by T. Jewell, March 2004. 
CommentDiagnosis. 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. 
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. 
References
  • 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
  • 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
 
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