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Oligosoma pachysomaticum (ROBB, 1975)

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Eugongylinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: Coromandel skink 
SynonymLeiolopisma pachysomaticum ROBB 1975
Cyclodina oliveri — HARDY 1977 (part.)
Cyclodina pachysomaticum — WELLS & WELLINGTON 1985
Cyclodina oliveri — PATTERSON & DAUGHERTY 1997 (in part)
Cyclodina pachysomaticum — JEWELL 2008
Oligosoma oliveri — CHAPPLE et al. 2009 (part.)
Oligosoma pachysomaticum — JEWELL 2019 
DistributionNew Zealand (eight islands in the Mercury Group, Alderman Group, and the Ohinau Group, off the east coast of the Coromandel Peninsula)

Type locality: Ruamahua-nui Island, Aldermans group  
Reproductionviviparous. Between 2–4 young are produced in April (Jewell 2019). 
TypesHolotype: AM H538 (author’s number R67), adult female, November 1972, A. H. Whitaker. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. An Oligosoma with a squarish mid-body cross-section; opaque, divided palpebral disc; a prominent tear-drop mark beneath each eye; iris light brown to orange; mid-body scale rows 32–36; ventral scale rows 72–88; eye diameter > distance from eye to mouth; adult SVL ≤ 84 mm; dorsal markings dominated by fine black flecking; belly cream and marked with numerous individual fine dark flecks. Distinguished from similar congeners (which share both the squarish body cross-section and the tear-drop subocular marking) as follows: alani (sympatric) has a black iris, prominent dorsal blotches and is much larger at up to 142 mm SVL; macgregori has longitudinal streaks on the dorsum and a uniform belly; ornatum (potentially sympatric) is smaller (SVL usually < 80 mm), usually has a yellow belly and usually has a tapering pale dorso-lateral stripe; oliveri has 36–44 mid-body scale rows, 88–97 ventral scale rows, dorsal and ventral patterns dominated by pale blotches, and a smaller eye (diameter < distance from eye to mouth); roimata is smaller at up to 65 mm SVL and has only 1 primary temporal scale (versus 2 in pachysomaticum); townsi usually has only 1 primary temporal scale and has few ventral markings; and whitakeri (sympatric) is larger at up to 101 mm SVL, has a dark-brown iris and a yellow-orange venter [Jewell 2019: 392]. 
CommentSynonymy: Oligosoma pachysomaticum was synonymized with O. oliveri by Hardy (1977) but revalidated by Jewell 2019.

Habitat: Lives primarily among deep leaf litter on the floor of coastal forest and scrub, being most abundant among regenerating scrub where the leaf litter is deepest. Nocturnal with peak activity in the first few hours of darkness, and only rarely sunbasks or forages by day.

Sympatry: Oligosoma alani (≤ 142 mm SVL) and O. whitakeri (≤ 101 mm SVL) and is significantly less abundant than these, i.e. O. pachysomaticum number 46–91/ha, O. alani 277–779/ha and O. whitakeri 161–903/ha. Also co-exists with the smaller forest/coastal scrub species O. aeneum (Girard) (76 mm). 
EtymologyFrom the Greek pachys (thick) and soma (body). 
References
  • Chapple, David G.; Peter A. Ritchie, Charles H. Daugherty 2009. Origin, diversification, and systematics of the New Zealand skink fauna (Reptilia: Scincidae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 52 (2): 470-487 - get paper here
  • Hardy, G. 1977. The New Zealand Scincidae: a taxonomic study. New Zealand Journal of Zoology 4: 221-325 - 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. 2019. New Zealand forest-dwelling skinks of the Oligosoma oliveri (McCann) species-complex (Reptilia: Scincidae): reinstatement of O. pachysomaticum (Robb) and an assessment of historical distribution ranges. Zootaxa 4688 (3): 382–398 - get paper here
  • Robb, J. 1975. Two new skinks of the genus Leiolopisma from New Zealand. Proc. K. ned. Akad. Wet. (biol. med. Sci.) 78 (5): 477-483
  • Wells, R. W. and Wellington, C. R. 1985. A synopsis of the Amphibia and Reptilia of Australia. Australian Journal of Herpetology, Supplementary Series (1): 62-64.
 
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