Long toed skink

Status: Nationally Vulnerable

Seen only in a few places in the upper reaches of Canterbury and southern Marlborough, it lives in dry rocky areas, particularly rock piles, boulder tumbles, and eroding river terraces.

Description

The long-toed skink (Oligosoma longipes) is a small to medium endemic skink that grows up to 67mm long Its dorsal (back) is grey-brown, with distinctive paler and dark spots and flecks and rudimentary darker strip down the middle of its back. The sides have a broad dark-coloured stripe edged with pale, notched stripes. The belly is grey with dark speckles. Its most distinctive feature is exceptionally long toes and tail.eing cold-blooded, it needs warmth to digest food and is commonly seen basking in the sun on warm rocks.  As it was only discovered in 1997, little is known about it.

Long-toed Skink, Oligosoma longipes Patterson, 1997, collected 08 Feb 1972, Alma River, 3 miles E of Tarndale, New Zealand. Gift of Landcare Research – Manaaki Whenua, 2012. CC BY-NC-ND licence. Te Papa (RE.004973)
Long-toed Skink, Oligosoma longipes Patterson, 1997, collected 08 Feb 1972, Alma River, 3 miles E of Tarndale, New Zealand. Gift of Landcare Research – Manaaki Whenua, 2012. CC BY-NC-ND licence. Te Papa (RE.004973)
Long-toed Skink, Oligosoma longipes Patterson, 1997, collected 08 Feb 1972, Alma River, 3 miles E of Tarndale, New Zealand. Gift of Landcare Research – Manaaki Whenua, 2012. CC BY-NC-ND licence. Te Papa (RE.004973)
Long-toed Skink, Oligosoma longipes Patterson, 1997, collected 08 Feb 1972, Alma River, 3 miles E of Tarndale, New Zealand. Gift of Landcare Research – Manaaki Whenua, 2012. CC BY-NC-ND licence. Te Papa (RE.004973)