- Scientific name:
- Oligosoma aeneum
- Common name:
- copper skink
- Naming authority:
- (Girard, 1857)
- Bio status category:
- Indigenous (Endemic)
- IUCN threat status:
- ** Not Classified **
- NZ threat classification:
- Not Threatened
Refer to www.doc.govt.nz/nztcs for NZ threat classification system details.
- Forest and open or shaded areas with adequate groundcover such as logs, rocks or long grass or deep leaf litter.
- Also encountered in urban areas: compost heaps, rock gardens etc.
- Occurs close to the high-tide line in coastal situations.
- Most active by day but very secretive, seldom emerging from cover.
- Back brown, often uniform or sometimes with scattered darker and lighter flecks.
- A narrow pale-brown to copper-coloured stripe (sometimes highlighted beneath by black) may run along the edges of the back, especially above the shoulders.
- Sides grey to grey-brown with darker and lighter flecks.
- Belly cream to yellowish-green, unspotted.
- Throat lighter than belly, often with black flecks.
- 'Lips' often with alternating black/white toothed pattern.
- Measures up to 62 mm from tip of snout to vent.
- Widespread throughout North Island (possibly absent from Hawke's Bay through to Manawatu), and on many outlying islands, but not in the Poor Knights or Three Kings groups.
- Can be abundant.
- New Zealand's smallest native lizard.
- The most common garden skink in Auckland and some suburbs of Wellington.
- The specific name means "copper (or bronze) coloured".
- Notes about 2012-14 cycle of NZ threat classification for Reptiles: (Hitchmough, et al.
- 2012): In northern mainland populations, now thriving in habitats dominated by exotic weeds and modified environments.
- Declines evidenced and anecdotal around Wellington.
- Secure on many islands.
Statistical information and distribution map
|Before 1988||Since 1988|
Live or dead specimen or shed skin
Bone or fossil