Detailed species information from your search of the Atlas.
Scientific name:
Oligosoma burganae
Common name:
burgan skink
Naming authority:
Chapple et al., 2011
Bio status category:
IUCN threat status:
** Not Classified **
NZ threat classification:
Nationally Endangered

Refer to for NZ threat classification system details.

burgan skink. Not found photo file name.
burgan skink


  • Sub-continental schist block mountains rising steeply from an altitude of 400–1450 m, with annual rainfall from 500–1700 mm and snow to 1000 m during winter.
  • Predominant vegetation is montane short and tall Chionochloa tussockland, with some scrub, particularly Coprosma and Olearia spp.
  • The preferred microhabitat appeared to be herbs and shrubs rather than rocks and grasses.


  • Dorsal surface moderate olive to dark olive brown, occasionally black, with irregular flecks.
  • A median dorsal dark grayish brown longitudinal stripe, 2 half-scale rows wide, well or partially developed, commencing behind the head and passing back to the base of the tail.
  • A light brown dorsal band 2 half-scale rows wide with light flecks, another broken dark brown band, 1 half- to 2 half-scale rows wide, shading on to a pale dorsolateral band 1 half- to 2 half-scale rows wide.
  • A pale dorsolateral band, extending from posterior margin of eye to first one-third of tail, this stripe bordered laterally by a dark brown band usually with notched edges above and below.
  • A broad dark reddish brown lateral band 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 scale rows wide, originating at tip of snout, passing through the eye and ending near tip of tail, bordered laterally by a very dark brown broken band and with pale scales extending into it from above and below; sometimes flecked with white.
  • Below this an indistinct pale stripe passes from beneath the anterior border of the eye through the ear, above the limbs to the tail.
  • This stripe is irregularly defined below by brown scales which merge gradually with the yellowish grey ventral colouration.
  • Ventral surface usually speckled with black spots on chin and throat.
  • Outer surface of forelimbs is dark brown with black and white specks.
  • Juvenile colouration similar to adult, but generally lighter.
  • Ear opening round, small, with no projecting granules on anterior margin.
  • There do not appear to be sexually dimorphic colour patterns.


  • Oligosoma burganae appears to be confined to the Rock and Pillar Ranges and Lammermoor Ranges of central Otago, and only occurs above 900 m (a subalpine species).


  • Notes about 2008-10 cycle of NZ threat classification for Reptiles (Hitchmough et al 2010): Rock & Pillars and Lammermoors.
  • The microhabitat preference appears to be the main reason why this species is able to coexist with other similarly-sized skink species (Oligosoma polychroma and Oligosoma maccanni) throughout its range.
  • The species becomes sexually mature at 49 mm SVL, and has a maximum litter size of six.
  • Parturition occurs in late January or early February.
  • Notes about 2012-14 cycle of NZ threat classification for Reptiles: (Hitchmough, et al.
  • 2012): Recent survey of two known sites didn't turn up any Burgan skinks (evidence of significant decline - possibly 50-70% - reason unknown, but related species at Macraes Flat responded much more strongly to management than other small, diurnal skinks).
  • Very small known range (Rock and Pillar Range and Lammermoors).

Statistical information and distribution map

  Before 1988 Since 1988
Live Specimen 134 5
Total 134 5

  Live or dead specimen or shed skin
  Bone or fossil

burgan skink Distribution Map.'
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