Long-toed skink

Oligosoma longipes

Even the scientific name, Oligosoma longipes, means long toed so there is no denying what makes this skink a little different. It also has a long tail but is a small to medium skink only growing up to 67mm long.

This species was only discovered in 1997 and is found in a few places in the upper reaches of Canterbury and southern Marlborough. It lives in dry rocky areas, rock piles and tussock grassland.

While the long tail and toes are its most distinctive features you can also identify it through its colouring – its back is grey-brown, with spots and flecks and a darker strip down the middle.

Like all lizards the long-toed skink is cold-blooded, it needs warmth to digest food and is commonly seen basking in the sun on warm rocks.

Photos : Marieke Lettink, Julia Gibson, Simone Smits