This skink is known to Ngati Rehua (tangata whenua of Aotea/Great Barrier Island) as 'niho taniwha' ('dragon's teeth') in reference to the distinctive teeth shaped markings on the dorsum (Barr 2009).
Juveniles of Oligosoma homalonotum may be confused for the ornate skink, O. ornatum.
O. homalonotum is New Zealand’s longest skink and is also one of the largest lizards (146 mm SVL, Gill and Whitaker 1996, Towns et al 2002), total length can range from 300 mm up to 340 mm (Barr 2009, Jamieson, unpub. data)). Adult chevron skinks can weigh over 40 g (Barr 2009, Jamieson unpub data ), while gravid females may weigh up to 50 g (Baling 2003);. Body is elongate and oval in cross-section, tail slender and up to 1.5 times SVL (Barr 2009) and appears to display prehensile qualities which may assist climbing (Barr 2009, H. Jamieson pers. comm. in Barr 2009). Dorsal surface brown or grey, distinctively marked with chevrons. Lateral surfaces with pale blotches. Ventral surface paile with scattered spots, usually on throat. Head relatively narrow, blunt snout with a pale teardrop-shaped spot below the eyes, denticulate markings across lips and distinctive dark markings under the chin (Towns 1988, Barr 2009).
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