DISTRIBUTION: It is localised to specific areas in the Otago region where it is relatively widespread but rare.
HABITAT: Rocky outcrops in tussock grassland.
BREEDING: New Zealand Skinks are unusual in that they give birth to live young (with the exception of Suter’s Skink). This is thought to be an adaptation to cope with colder climates.
FOOD: They are mostly carnivorous, eating a wide range of insects and spiders captured with the help of a long sticky slightly-notched tongue. They also eat food such as berries, and nectar from flowers.
GENERAL: This Skink is diurnal, being most active during the day. They are considerably quicker in their movements than their nocturnal cousins. It is the largest of the diurnal skinks in New Zealand, reaching nearly 30 cm in length. There are serious concerns about the effects cat predation will have on population numbers. The New Zealand Conservation Trust and Willowbank are involved in a breeding programme for this species