Head of common skink lizard of New ZealandCommon skink lizard of New Zealand
Common skink eye lizard of New Zealand

Common Skink Oligosoma nigriplantare

The common skink can be distingished from the brown skink by the tan (as opposed to brown) colour of the iris, and are abundant in coastal areas.

Habitat The New Zealand common skink lives under rocks and logs etc in open areas with low vegetation up to 1700m.

Distribution Widespread throughout the South Island and in the Wellington and Hawkes Bay regions. Also Chatham Islands.

Diet Insects and spiders. Occasionally berries and nectar.

Breeding Give live birth to 5-6 young January to February. This is a peculiarity (live birth) to New Zealand skinks, with the exception being the egg laying Stuter's skink. Live birth is believed to be an adaptation to our colder climate, as most skinks lay eggs.

General When attacked skinks are able to shed their tail which wriggles about attracting the attention of the predator while an escape is attempted.