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Oligosoma roimata PATTERSON, HITCHMOUGH & CHAPPLE, 2013

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Eugongylinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards) 
Common NamesE: Aorangi skink
G: Aorangiskink 
SynonymOligosoma roimata PATTERSON, HITCHMOUGH & CHAPPLE 2013
Sphenomorphus pseudornatus MCCANN 1955: 76, 110, 125 (in part)
Cyclodina ornata — HARDY 1977: 261 (in part)
Cyclodina sp. 3 — JEWELL 2008: 112 (in part)
Oligosoma ornatum — CHAPPLE et al. 2009: 472, 485 (in part) 
DistributionNew Zealand (Aorangi Island)

Type locality: Aorangi Island, Poor Knights (35° 28’S, 174° 44’E), Map legend:
Type locality - Type locality.
TypesHolotype: NMNZ RE001626#32 (adult male) (coll. G.S. Hardy, November 1973). (Figure 3).
Paratypes (4 specimens). Aorangi Island, Poor Knights (35o 28’S, 174o 44’E), NMNZ RE003723 (S78) (male) (coll. Coll. A.H. Whitaker, December 1964); Aorangi Island, Poor Knights (35° 28’S, 174° 44’E), NMNZ RE001626#29 (female), NMNZ RE001626#30 (male), NMNZ RE001626#31 (male) (coll. G.S. Hardy, November 1973). 
CommentSynonymy: after PATTERSON et al. 2013.

Diagnosis. Oligosoma roimata sp. nov. can be distinguished from other Oligosoma species through a combination of characters. The clearly visible orange iris separates the species from all other Oligosoma except O. aeneum, O. levidensum, O. hardyi, O. townsi, O. oliveri, O. macgregori, O. whitakeri, O. striatum, O. homalonotum, and O. ornatum. The unbroken subocular scale row separates O. roimata sp. nov. from O. striatum, O. homalonotum.and O. hardyi. Oligosoma roimata sp. nov. has a prominent teardrop marking under the eye, and a moderately large ear opening, which separates it from O. aeneum, O. levidensum and O. hardyi which lack this marking and have small ear openings. Oligosoma townsi midbody scale count of ≥38 does not overlap with O. roimata sp. nov..
The maximum SVL of 62 mm (Whitaker 1968) is much less than that of O. oliveri (105.6 mm), the ear opening is smaller than in O. oliveri and most O. oliveri specimens have two primary temporals (Chapple et al. 2008a), whereas O. roimata sp. nov. always has one. There is minimal overlap between O. roimata sp. nov. and O. whitakeri in midbody and no overlap in ventral scale counts with O. whitakeri having a higher range for both indices (Hardy 1977). Oligosoma roimata sp. nov. lacks the yellow and orange colouration of many O. whitakeri specimens (Hardy 1977). Oligosoma whitakeri generally has dark blotches on the ventral surface, whereas it is unmarked or lightly marked in O. roimata sp. nov.. Colour pattern distinguishes O. roimata sp. nov. from O. macgregori and there is no overlap in midbody or ventral scale counts between these two species. The ear opening is slightly smaller than in O. ornatum and the maximum SVL is much less than O. ornatum (84.0 mm). 
EtymologyFrom the Maori “roimata” = “tears”, referring to the teardrop marking under the eyes. 
  • 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
  • PATTERSON, GEOFF B.; ROD A. HITCHMOUGH & DAVID G. CHAPPLE 2013. Taxonomic revision of the ornate skink (Oligosoma ornatum; Reptilia: Scincidae) species complex from northern New Zealand. Zootaxa 3736 (1): 054–068 - get paper here
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