Oligosoma (Stewart Island)

Herpetofaunal category
NZ Skinks
Oligosoma (Stewart Island)

Image attribution: Small-eared skink (Oligosoma stenotis). © Nick Harker


Oligosoma is a genus comprising the New Zealand skinks and a closely related species the Lord Howe Island skink (Oligosoma lichenigera).

The Rakiura / Stewart Island skink fauna are mostly endemic to the island (and outlying islands / rock stacks), with just one of the four resident species also occurring on the South Island mainland (the tussock skink - Oligosoma chionoscloescens).

The two most commonly-encountered species on the island are the southern skink and tussock skink, with green skinks and small-eared skinks both being rarer and more localised.