This species (Oligosoma) was first discovered in 2018 in Northern Otago and until now hasn’t been seen in Te Manahuna. Our lizard monitoring team think they discovered some in the project area in 2021 and if that’s confirmed when we have the results of genetic testing this find will expand the range of the alpine rock skink.
It’s an active, beautifully coloured rock-dwelling skink which is usually around 89mm in length which is big in the lizard world. They live in high-elevation scree and boulder fields and eat invertebrates and the fruits of native shrubs. There’s still a lot to learn about this skink.
Photos : Sam Turner, Julia Gibson