Tag Archives: Skinks

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.



[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


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

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]



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



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


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.



[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