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Oligosoma infrapunctatum (BOULENGER, 1887)

IUCN Red List - Oligosoma infrapunctatum - Least Concern, LR

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Eugongylinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Boulenger’s speckled skink, Cobble skink, Speckled Skink 
SynonymLygosoma infrapunctatum BOULENGER 1887: 274
Lygosoma (Leiolopisma) infrapunctatum — SMITH 1937: 224
Leiolopisma infrapunctata — MITTLEMAN 1952
Leiolopisma infrapunctatum — MCCANN 1955
Leiolopisma infrapunctatum — GREER 1974: 16
Leiolopisma infrapunctatum — GUNDY & WURST 1976
Leiolopisma infrapunctatum — WHITAKER 1976
Leiolopisma infrapunctatum — HARDY 1977
Oligosoma infrapunctatum — WELLS & WELLINGTON 1985
Oligosoma newmani WELLS & WELLINGTON 1985 (Stephens Is)
Oligosoma robinsoni WELLS & WELLINGTON 1985 (Whale Is)
Oligosoma infrapunctatum — PATTERSON & DAUGHERTY 1995
Oligosoma infrapunctatum — HICKSON et al. 2000
Oligosoma infrapunctatum — HITCHMOUGH et al. 2016
Oligosoma aff. infrapunctatum — JEWELL 2017
Oligosoma infrapunctatum — MELZER et al. 2019: 453 
DistributionNew Zealand, North Island (Waikato, Wellington), Stephen Is, South Island (Nelson, Westland)

Type locality: unknown, but McCann (1955) assumed Stephens Island (Takapourewa) to be the type locality, but that remains unknown.  
TypesHolotype: BMNH 1946.8.16.12, purchased off G. Krefft (sic), date and locality unknown 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. The specimen’s characteristics clearly distinguish it as a member of Oligosoma (Patterson & Daugherty 1995). The specimen is similar to many of the species described in the current paper in overall proportions, scalation and colouration, particularly the ventral speckling. This, and the distinguishing features presented above which exclude other superficially similar species confirm that it is a member of the group of species discussed here as the O. infrapunctatum complex. It can be distinguished from other members of the infrapunctatum complex by the following characters (Figure 4a–j and abbreviations following Melzer et al. 2019): S-Ear/EF (O. infrapunctatum 0.8; O. robinsoni 0.9–1.2; O. salmo sp. nov.1–1.2), MS (O. infrapunctatum 34; O. auroraensis sp. nov. 30–32), VS (O. infrapunctatum 83; O. albornense sp. nov. 65–68; O. salmo sp. nov. 59–69), upper ciliaries (O. infrapunctatum 7; O. albornense sp. nov. 5–6), supraciliaries (O. infrapunctatum 6; O. salmo sp. nov. 5), supralabial count (O. infrapunctatum 8; O. auroraensis sp. nov. 7; O. salmo sp. nov. 7), SVL/HLL (O. infrapunctatum 2.8; O. salmo sp. nov. 3–4.3). The boxplots also show statistically significant differences between O. infrapunctatum and all the other species in this paper.
The AG/SF and SVL/FTL values for O. infrapunctatum are unlikely to have arisen from the distribution of values of O. newmani and O. salmo. The subdigital lamella count is unlikely to have arisen from the distribution of values of any of the other species in this paper, except O. auroraensis. Similarly, for SVL/ HLL, where the only species with a possibly comparable distribution is O. auroraensis. The S-Ear/EF value for O. infrapunctatum is unlikely to have arisen from the distribution of values of any of the other species in this paper.
O. infrapunctatum also has a scale between the prefrontals that is not found in any of the other species in this paper. The O. infrapunctatum type shows some similarity to the undescribed Hokitika population of Clade 2a; they share the additional scale between the pre-frontals and a tendency for the ventral spots to be arranged in longitudinal rows; both features not seen in other members of the complex described here. However, they differ considerably in ventral scale counts (mean of 74 vs 83 in O. infrapunctatum), AG/SF (mean of 1.6 vs 1.3 in O. infrapunctatum) and in having 7 supralabials vs 8 in O. infrapunctatum. Similar differences (including the lack of a scale between the prefrontals) exist between other undescribed taxa in the Greaves et al. (2008) paper and this specimen. 
CommentDistribution: SMITH 1937 mentioned infrapunctatum as from Western Australia.

JEWELL (2008) recognises four species previously assigned to O. infrapunctatum: Cobble skink Oligosoma sp. 9 (p. 94; not previously recognised), Crenulate skink Oligosoma sp. 10 (p. 96; = clade 2), Paparoa skink Oligosoma sp. 11 (p. 97), and Hitchmough 2009 for more discussion.

Conservation: Some populations critically threatened (Hitchmough et al. 2016) but see Melzer et al. 2019 for a discussion of each population. Oligosoma infrapunctatum is at least seriously threatened, if not extinct. 
Etymology The Latin name means ‘spotted below’. 
  • ADAMS, LYNN; PETER GAZE, ROD HITCHMOUGH, SUSAN KEALL & IVAN ROGERS 2017. A survey of Puangiangi with recommendations for restoration of the island’s lizard fauna. BioGecko (4): 26-34
  • Boulenger, G. A. 1887. Catalogue of the lizards in the British Museum (Nat. Hist.) III. Lacertidae, Gerrhosauridae, Scincidae, Anelytropsidae, Dibamidae, Chamaeleontidae. London: 575 pp. - get paper here
  • Chapple, D.G.; Hitchmough, R.A.; Jewell, T.R. 2009. Taxonomic instability of reptiles and frogs in New Zealand: information to aid the use of Jewell (2008) for species identification [a comment on King 2009 and further commented by Jewell]. New Zealand Journal of Zoology 36: 59–71
  • 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
  • Greaves, Stephanie N.J.; David G. Chapple, Charles H. Daugherty, Dianne M. Gleeson and Peter A. Ritchie 2008. Genetic divergences pre-date Pleistocene glacial cycles in the New Zealand speckled skink, Oligosoma infrapunctatum. Journal of Biogeography 35: 853–864 - get paper here
  • Greer, A.E. 1974. The generic relationships of the scincid lizard genus Leiolopisma and its relatives. Australian Journal of Zoology 31: 1-67. - get paper here
  • Hardy, G. 1977. The New Zealand Scincidae: a taxonomic study. New Zealand Journal of Zoology 4: 221-325 - get paper here
  • Henle, K. 1981. Die Herpetofauna Neuseelands, Teil 3: Einheimische Skinke. Herpetofauna 3 (14): 14-18 - 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; Ben Barr, Marieke Lettink, Jo Monks, James Reardon, Mandy Tocher, Dylan van Winkel and Jeremy Rolfe 2016. Conservation status of New Zealand reptiles, 2015. New Zeland Department of Conservation, 14 pp. - 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 2017. The ecology and conservation of the cobble skink (Oligosoma aff. infrapunctatum). BioGecko (4): 49-58
  • 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
  • Smith, M.A. 1937. A review of the genus Lygosoma (Scincidae: Reptilia) and its allies. Records of the Indian Museum 39 (3): 213-234
  • 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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