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Oligosoma longipes PATTERSON, 1997

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Eugongylinae (Eugongylini), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Long-toed skink 
SynonymOligosoma longipes PATTERSON 1997
Oligosoma longipes — HITCHMOUGH et al. 2016 
DistributionNew Zealand

Type locality: Alma River, 5 km east of Tarndale, Marlborough, 173° 05’ E, 42° 10’ S.  
TypesHolotype: NMNZ (given as ED S1336 = Ecology Division, Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (now Museum of New Zealand, Wellington) 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Patterson & Daugherty (1995) have summarised those features that distinguish Oligosoma from related genera. O. longipes has been assigned to Oligosoma as it shares the following characters with the other species: a transparent palpebral disc in the lower eyelid; body oval in cross-section; subdigital lamellae smooth. O. longipes can be distinguished from all other New Zealand skinks by its colour pattern and elongated tail and digits. The colour pattern is most similar to O. microlepis and some specimens of O. maccanni and O. nigriplantarepolychroma. O. longipes has three chinshield pairs (O. microlepis has two) and noticeably longer digits and tail (intact tail length/s-v of O. microlepis = 1.3, vs 1.45 for O. longipes). The midbody scale count range for O. maccanni is 28-34 rows and for O. n. polychroma is 26-34 rows (Patterson & Daugherty 1990), significantly less than for O. longipes. Oligosoma otagense, O. waimatense and O. grande have an elongated tail and digits similar to O. longipes, but all three are much larger animals than O. longipes, having maximum s-v lengths exceeding 100 mm. The midbody scale counts of O. otagense (46-72) and O. waimatense (50-68) do not overlap the new species. As well as coloration, the following characters differentiate O. longipes from O. grande (data for O. grande from Hardy 1977): snout moderately sharp (vs. relatively blunt); sixth supralabial below centre of eye (vs. seventh or eighth) [from PATTERSON 1997]. 
EtymologyFrom Latin “longus” (= long) and Latin “pes” (= foot), referring to the long toes. 
  • 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, G. B., & HITCHMOUGH, R. A. 2021. A new alpine skink species (Scincidae: Eugongylinae: Oligosoma) from Kahurangi National Park, New Zealand. Zootaxa 4920 (4): 495-508 - get paper here
  • Patterson, G.B. 1997. South Island skinks of the genus Oligosoma: description of O. longipes n. sp. with redescription of O. otagense (McCann) and O. waimatense (McCann). Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand 27(4): 439-450. - get paper here
  • Winkel, D. van, Baling, M. & Hitchmough, R. 2018. Reptiles and Amphibians of New Zealand: A field guide. Auckland University Press, Auckland, 376 pp.
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