Tag Archives: Scincidae

Tachygyia microlepis (Duméril & Bibron)

Short-legged Tongan Skink (Tachygyia microlepis)

The enigmatic Short-legged Tongan Skink was described in the year 1839.

This species, which may well have been endemic to the island of Tongatapu, is known from only two specimens that were collected during the L’Astrolabe expedition in 1827.

The Short-legged Tongan Skink was a quite large terrestrial species with somewhat reduced legs, it probably fell prey to the numerous feral mammals, like cats, dogs, pigs and rats, that had been imported to the Tongan islands, both by Polynesians and Europeans.

The species is now generally considered extinct.

*********************

References:

[1] G. R. Zug; I. Ineich; G. Pregill; A. M. Hamilton: Lizards of Tonga with Description of a New Tongan Treeskink (Squamata: Scincidae: Emoia samoensis Group). Pacific Science 66(2): 225-237. 2012

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.

*********************

References:

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

*********************

emoia-concolor-dpr

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

http://www.ryanphotographic.com

*********************

edited: 01.01.2019

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.

*********************

oligosoma-alani-dpr

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

http://www.ryanphotographic.com

*********************

edited: 14.02.2017

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]

*********************

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

*********************

emoia-samoensis-shashizume

Photo: S. Hashizume, 2008

http://jocv183199.web.fc2.com

*********************

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]

*********************

References:

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

*********************

emoia-trossula-dpr

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

http://www.ryanphotographic.com

Oligosoma acrinasum (Hardy)

Fiordland Skink (Oligosoma acrinasum)

The Fiordland Skink is endemic to the South Island of New Zealand, where it can be found at the Fiordland coast, and especially on smaller and smallest islands.

It is a coastal species that can be found on rocky shoreline platforms, where it hunts for small insects and other invertebrates.

The species is considered abundant in areas free from mammalian predators, especially Norway Rats (Rattus norvegicus (Berkenhout)), but is now nearly completely absent from areas with such mammalian predators.

Oligosoma gracilicorpus (Hardy)

Narrow-bodied Skink (Oligosoma gracilicorpus)

This species, described in the year 1977, is known only from the type specimen, which was collected on New Zealand’s North Island.

The species is considered extinct.

*********************

References:

[1] D. R. Towns, K. A. Neilson; A. H. (Tony) Whitaker: North Island Oligosoma spp. skink recovery plan 2002-2012. Threatened species recovery plan 48. New Zealand Department of Conservation 2002