Tag Archives: Motuopao Island

Oligosoma alani (Robb)

Robust Skink (Oligosoma alani)

The Robust Skink, also known as Alan’s Skink, is probably the largest of New Zealand’s skinks.

The species was once common and widespread throughout New Zealand’s North Island, but is now confined to several of the offshore islands and islets.



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



edited: 14.02.2017

Monomorium antarcticum (Fr. Smith)

Common New Zealand Ant (Monomorium antarcticum)

The genus Monomorium contains over 300 species, with six species occurring in New Zealand, only two (or three) of which are native resp. endemic to New Zealand.

Altogether about five native species are known to exist within the Polynesian region.


The Common New Zealand Ant is actually not a species but a species complex, which contains at least four distinct species, and which needs further investigation.

The ‘species’ reaches a size of about 0,3 to 0,4 cm.


In the year 1936 (and again in the year 2002) a ant species was found on the island of Rapa / Austral Islands, that was identified as this ‘species’ – these ants, which seem indeed to be native to this island, however, most probably represent another, distinct, and hitherto undescribed species from the species complex. [1][2]



[1] William Morton Wheeler: Ants from the Society, Austral, Tuamotu and Mangareva Islands. Bernice P. Bishop Museum Occasional Papers 12(18). 1936
[2] R. A. Englund: Report for the 2002 Pacific Biological Survey, Bishop Museum Austral Islands, French Polynesia Expedition to Raivavae and Rapa Iti. prepered for: Délégation à la Recherche (Ministère de la Culture, de l’Enseignement Supérieur et de la Recherche), B.P. 20981 Papeete, Tahiti, Polynésie française. 2003



Photo: April Nobile

(under creative commons license (3.0))

Cyperus insularis Heenan & de Lange

Cyperus insularis


New Zealand: Hernia Island (Aldermen Islands); Bream Island, Marotiri Island, Keyhole Rock, Hen Island, Sail Rock, Whatupuke Island (Hen and Chicken Islands); Cheeseman Islet, Curtis Island, Macauley Island, Raoul Island (Kermadec Islands); Aiguilles Island, Channel Island, Motuhaka Island, Great Mercury Island (Mercury Islands); Gut Rock, Motukino Island, Pokohinu Island (Mokohinau Islands); Matapia Island, Motuopao Island, Moturoa Island, North Island, Whale Island (Moturoa Islands); Moutuhora Island; North Island; Aorangi Island, Tawhiti Rahi Island (Poor Knights Islands); Great Island, South West King Island, Stella Rock, West Island (Three Kings Islands)

local names: –


This species was described in the year 2005. [1]



[1] P. B. Heenan; P. J. de Lange: Cyperus insularis (Cyperaceae), a new species of sedge from northern New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Botany 43: 351-359. 2005



Photo: John Barkla

(under creative commons license (4.0))