Scree skink

Scientific name – Oligosoma waimatense

Size matters when it comes to scree skinks – they are one of our largest skinks, with a tail that is longer than their body. They also have very long toes to help them move around their unstable habitat.

Home is rocky scree, boulder fields or river beds. The scree skink will actually dive into water to escape capture and they are very alert – they will see you before you see them. They differ in colour from grey to brown but are usually very heavily flecked.

This species is found from South Marlborough to North Otago in sub-alpine areas. Because they can be found in stream beds flooding can devastate a scree skink population. Mammalian predators and weeds also impact this species.

Photos : Samuel Purdie, Julia Gibson