To help protect the species, 50 skinks were released into the Rotorua sanctuary in January 2014.
The colour and patterns are variable, but the overall colour is coppery or olive brown and it usually has an even edged dark brown stripe along the side, bordered cream or white on the top and bottom. Some individuals are very dark. It has distinctive long toes and tail and grows to a maximum of 18 cm. The very long tail can make up over half the total body length.
Moko skinks are generally found in coastal environments. They are active mainly by day and are often seen basking on warm rocks. They are also found under logs and stones and in clay banks. They eat small insects, spiders and similar invertebrates. They often emerge from vegetation edges to hunt on beaches and open rocky areas.
Like most of the New Zealand native skinks, the moko skink does not lay eggs, but gives birth to live young. This appears to be an adaptation to living in a cool climate, where life is marginal for reptiles. Litters of up to eight are born around February.
- Patterson G, Daugherty C (1995). "Reinstatement of the genus Oligosoma (Reptilia: Lacertilia: Scincidae)". Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand. 25 (3): 327–331. doi:10.1080/03014223.1995.9517493.
- Hare KM, Daugherty CH, Chapple DG (2008). "Comparative phylogeography of three skink species (Oligosoma moco, O. smithi, O. suteri; Reptilia: Scincidae) in northeastern New Zealand.". Mol Phylogenet Evol. 46 (1): 303–15. PMID 17911035. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2007.08.012.
- https://www.facebook.com/events/294797780730468/ retrieved 12 June 2015
- http://www.wanderingherpetologist.com/moko-skink-curious-lizard-incredibly/comment-page-1/#comment-5098 retrieved 12 June 2015
- Oligosoma moco in the NZ Lizards Database
- Oligosoma moco in the Reptile Database
- Oligosoma moco at Tiritiri Matangi website
- Moko Skink at Te Ara website
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