Emoia concolor (Duméril)

Fiji Green Tree Skink (Emoia concolor)

Distribution:

Fiji: Beqa, Dravuni, Gau, Kadavu, Kia, Koro, Lami, Lau Islands, Moala, Nasoata, Ovalau, Rotuma (?), Taveuni, Vanua Levu, Viti Levu, Viwa, Waya, Yadua Taba, Yagasa

local names:

mokosari – Fiji
sari – Fiji

***

The Fiji Green Tree Skink was described in 1851, it is endemic to the Fijian Islands, possibly except for the outlying Rotuman Islands (there appears to exist at least one specimen that was collected on Rotuma, so it may have formerly occured there as well).

The species is about 20 cm long, it is mainly variably greenish to brownish and well camouflaged.

The Fiji Green Tree Skink is a tree-dwelling species and inhabits most of the forested areas including agricultural and suburban areas, it is less common or completely absent were introduced mongooses are found. [1]

***

Some island populations may constitute distinct subspecies or even species, but further research is needed to proove this assumption.

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References:

[1] Walter C. Brown: Lizards of the genus Emoia (Scincidae) with observations on their evolution and biogeography. California Academy of Sciences 1991

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emoia-concolor-dpr

Photo: Dr. Paddy Ryan; by courtesy of Dr. Paddy Ryan

http://www.ryanphotographic.com

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edited: 01.01.2019

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Emoia cyanura (Lesson)

Coastal Blue-tailed Skink (Emoia cyanura)

Distribution:

Austral Islands: Raivavae, Rapa, Rimatara, Rurutu, Tubuai
Cook Islands: Nassau, Pukapuka, Rarotonga, Tongareva
Fiji: Taveuni, Viti Levu
Gambier Islands: Mangareva
Kiribati: Flint Island, Tabuaeran
Marquesas: Fatu Hiva, Hiva Oa, Mohotani, Nuku Hiva
Niue
Pitcairn Islands: Henderson Island, Oeno, Pitcairn Island
Samoa: Fanuatapu, ‘Upolu, Namu’a, Nu’ulua, Nu’utele, Ofu, Olosega, Tutuila
Society Islands: Huahine, Maupiha’a, Me’eti’a, Mo’orea, Tahiti
Tokelau: Atafu, Fakaofo, Nukunonu
Tonga: ‘Eua; Niuatoputapu; Lifuka (Ha’apai Islands); Tongatapu; ‘Euakafa, Kapa, Kenutu, Mafana, Maninita, Nuku, Pangaimotu, Taula, ‘Umuna, ‘Uta Vava’u, Vaka’eitu (Vava’u Islands)
Tuamotu Archipelago: Ahe, Anaa, Aratika, Fakarava, Hao, Katiu, Makemo, Manihi, Mataiva, Niau, Nihiru, Pukapuka, Rangiroa, Raraka, Raroia, Takaroa, Takume, Tureia
Tuvalu: Funafuti
Wallis & Futuna: Futuna, ‘Uvea

local names:

moko – Aitutaki, Miti’aro, Pukapuka, Tongareva / Cook Islands
moko kakara – Ma’uke / Cook Islands
moko sari – Fiji
motukutuku – Mangaia / Cook Islands

***

This ‘species’ in fact isn’t a species in the common sense, it is most probably not monophyletic, that means the species’ name covers more than one species.

The Polynesian populations extend from Fiji into central Polynesia (Cook Islands, Society Islands) and east Polynesia (Tuamotu Archipelago). The western populations may be native, the central and eastern, however, were most probably imported by early Polynesian settlers.

There is still a lot to discover …. [1][2][3][4][5]

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References:

[1] Walter C. Brown: Lizards of the genus Emoia (Scincidae) with observations on their evolution and biogeography. California Academy of Sciences 1991
[2] B. J. Gill: The land reptiles of Western Samoa. Journal of the Royal Society of new Zealand 23(2): 79-89. 1993
[3] B. J. Gill: Notes on the land reptiles of Wallis and futuna, South-West pacific. Records of the Auckland Institute and Museum 32: 55-61.1995
[4] Emilio M. Bruna; Robert N. Fisher; Ted J. Case: Morphological and genetic evolution appear decoupled in Pacific skinks (Squamata: Scincidae: Emoia). Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. B 263: 681-688. 1996
[5] Robert Fisher; Moeumu Uili; Czarina Lese; Fialelei Enoka: Reptiles of the Aleipata Islands: Surveys 2009–2010. In: Alan Tye, David J. Butler: Restoration of Nu’utele and Nu’ulua Islands (Aleipata Group), Samoa, through the management of introduced rats and ants. Conservation International Pacific Islands Program 2013

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emoia-cyanura-dpr

Photo: Dr. Paddy Ryan; by courtesy of Dr. Paddy Ryan

http://www.ryanphotographic.com

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edited: 01.01.2019

Emoia samoensis (Duméril)

Samoan Tree Skink (Emoia samoensis)

Distribution:

Samoa: Nu’utele, Savai’i, Ta’u, Tutuila, ‘Upolu

local names:

pili lape – Samoa

***

The Samoan Tree Skink was described in 1851, it is endemic to Samoa, where it occurs on all of the larger and certainly also all of the smaller islands.

The skink is about 25 cm long, it is mainly green colored and is marked with some dark brown spots of varying size.

The species primarily inhabits forested areas, where it is usually found on tree trunks and low vegetation at heights from near ground level to several meters above ground. [1][2][3]

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References:

[1] Walter C. Brown: Lizards of the genus Emoia (Scincidae) with observations on their evolution and biogeography. California Academy of Sciences 1991
[2] B. J. Gill: The land reptiles of Western Samoa. Journal of the Royal Society of new Zealand 23(2): 79-89. 1993
[3] Robert Fisher; Moeumu Uili; Czarina Iese; Fialelei Enoka: Reptiles of the Aleipata Islands: Surveys 2009–2010. In: Alan Tye, David J. Butler: Restoration of Nu’utele and Nu’ulua Islands (Aleipata Group), Samoa, through the management of introduced rats and ants. Conservation International Pacific Islands Program 2013

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emoia-samoensis-shashizume

Photo: S. Hashizume, 2008

http://jocv183199.web.fc2.com

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edited: 01.01.2019

Emoia trossula Brown & Gibbons

Barred Tree Skink (Emoia trossula)

This about 25 cm long skink species is indigenous to the Fijian Islands. The population of Rarotonga / Cook Islands that formerly was assigned to this species, was only in 2011 recognized as a distinct species.

The Barred Tree Skink is mainly found in trees. [1]

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References:

[1] Walter C. Brown: Lizards of the genus Emoia (Scincidae) with observations on their evolution and biogeography. California Academy of Sciences, 1991

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emoia-trossula-dpr

Photo: Dr. Paddy Ryan; by courtesy of Dr. Paddy Ryan

http://www.ryanphotographic.com