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Oligosoma lineoocellatum (DUMÉRIL, 1851)

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Eugongylinae (Eugongylini), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Canterbury spotted skink 
SynonymLygosoma lineo-ocellatum DUMÉRIL 1851: 169
Mocoa formosa BLYTH 1853 (fide DAS et al. 1998) (see comment)
Mocoa zealandica — GUNTHER 1875
Lygosoma lineo-ocellatum — BOULENGER 1887: 273
Leiolopisma lineo-ocellata — MITTLEMAN 1952: 26
Leiolopisma formosa — MITTLEMAN 1952: 24
Leiolopisma festivum MCCANN 1955
Leiolopisma grande grande — MCCANN 1955
Leiolopisma festivum — GREER 1974: 16
Leiolopisma lineoocellatum — GREER 1974: 16
Scincella formosa — GREER 1974: 7
Leiolopisma infrapunctatum — ROBB 1974
Oligosoma lineoocellatum — WELLS & WELLINGTON 1985
Oligosoma festivum — WELLS & WELLINGTON 1985
Oligosoma lineoocellatum — PATTERSON & DAUGHERTY 1995
Oligosoma lineoocellatum — HICKSON et al. 2000
Oligosoma lineoocellatum — HITCHMOUGH et al. 2016 
DistributionNew Zealand (North Island (Hawkes Bay, Wellington), South Island), Cook Strait [Leiolopisma festivum McCann 1955]

Type locality: "New Zealand" (unpublished genetic data indicates Canterbury, New Zealand, fide G. Patterson, pers. comm. 6 Feb 2016).  
TypesLectotype. MNHN-RA 1991.2731 (formerly MNHN-RA 5053A), NZ (locality unknown), (coll. M. Arnoux & M. Belligny, date unknown), designated by Melzer et al. 2017. Paralectotypes. NZ (locality unknown), 3 specimens (MNHN 5475, unknown; MNHN 2007.2418 [5475A], unknown; MNHN 5053, unknown) (coll. M. Arnoux & M. Belligny, date unknown). Specimens were loaned to Te Papa, National Museum of New Zealand (NMNZ; Wellington) by MNHN (Paris) for examination. Other referred specimens (8 specimens, erroneously designated as paralectotypes). Birdlings Flat (43° 50’S, 172° 42’E), 2 specimens (NMNZ RE001740 (2/2/8.2), male; NMNZ RE001740 (2/2/8.3), immature) (coll. G. Hardy, unknown date); Lake Ellesmere area (43° 32’S, 172° 32’E), NMNZ RE002035, male (coll. D. Newman, unknown date); Birdlings Flat (43° 50’S, 172° 42’E), 4 specimens (NMNZ RE003712 (S67), unknown; NMNZ RE003713 (S68), female; NMNZ RE003714 (S69), female; NMNZ RE003715 (S70), female (coll. A. Whitaker, 1960); Mt Somers (43° 45’S, 171° 18’E), NMNZ RE005456, female (coll. C. Daugherty, 11 Jan 1985). 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. In general, members of the O. lineoocellatum species complex can be distinguished from other similar sympatric species by colour pattern and scale counts. The dorsal green or brown ground colour speckled with black and white ocelli resembles only O. chloronoton. However, all O. lineoocellatum complex species have either two anterior subocular scales, or three where the third is much reduced in size compared with the first two. All O. chloronoton complex species in contrast have three similarly sized anterior suboculars. The subdigital lamellae count in O. chloronoton is usually less than 22, whereas in O. lineoocellatum it is usually greater than 22.
Oligosoma lineoocellatum can be distinguished from other species in the O. lineoocellatum species complex by a combination of characters. The adpressed limbs often do not meet (7 out of 12 specimens), whereas they usually meet in O. prasinum sp. nov., and always meet in O. elium sp. nov. The subdigital lamellae count is usually below 24, compared with O. prasinum and O. elium where it is usually above 24. Dorsal ocelli continue down the tail unlike in many specimens of O. prasinum and O. elium. Pale dorsolateral stripes are usually much more pronounced than in O. prasinum. The ear width in O. lineoocellatum relative to SVL is approximately 50% greater than in O. prasinum. O. lineoocellatum will occasionally have three anterior suboculars, where the other species will always have two. There are significant differences in SVL/HW between O. lineoocellatum and O. kokowai sp. nov., as well as O. lineoocellatum and O. prasinum (Figure 6a) [Melzer et al. 2017]. 
CommentSynonymy: Mocoa formosa is most likely not an Oligosoma but given its uncertain status may remain in its synonymy untilf further clarified (fide Glenn Shea, pers. comm., 8 May 2017).

The type locality given by DUMÉRIL 1851 is in error (fide McCANN 1955; HARDY 1977).

Distribution: not on Stewart Island (G. Patterson, pers. comm. 6 Feb 2016). 
EtymologyThe specific latin name refers to the rows of eye-like spots (ocelli) on the dorsal surface. 
  • 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
  • Das, INDRANEIL, BASUDEB DATTAGUPTA and NEMAI CHARAN GAYEN. 1998. History and catalogue of reptile types in the collection of the Zoological Survey of India. J. south Asian nat. Hist. 3 (2): 121-172
  • Duméril, A.M.C. & A. H. A. Duméril 1851. Catalogue méthodique de la collection des reptiles du Muséum d'Histoire Naturelle de Paris. Gide et Baudry/Roret, Paris, 224 pp.
  • Frank, Hermann. 2012. Rediscovery of the spotted skink Oligosoma aff. lineoocellatum ‘Central Canterbury’ in lowland South Canterbury, New Zealand. BioGecko (1): 29-33 - get paper here
  • Greaves, Stephanie N.J.; David G. Chapple, Dianne M. Gleeson, Charles H. Daugherty and Peter A. Ritchie 2007. Phylogeography of the spotted skink (Oligosoma lineoocellatum) and green skink (O. chloronoton)species complex (Lacertilia: Scincidae) in New Zealand reveals pre-Pleistocene divergence. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution <br />45 (2): 729-739 - 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
  • Hallermann, J. 2020. An annotated list of reptiles and amphibians from the 1905 Hamburg expedition to southwest Australia deposited in the Zoological Museum Hamburg. Evolutionary Systematics 4: 61 - 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, 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
  • MELZER, SABINE; TRENT BELL, GEOFF B. PATTERSON 2017. Hidden conservation vulnerability within a cryptic species complex: taxonomic revision of the spotted skink (Oligosoma lineoocellatum; Reptilia: Scincidae) from New Zealand. Zootaxa 4300 (3): 355–379 [erratum in Zootaxa 4350 (3): 600] - 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
  • 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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