The specific name means 'copper (or bronze) coloured'. Analyses of the origins of species names for O. aeneum and O. ornatum were published simultaneously by Robb (1977) and Hardy (1977), with different conclusions. Robb (1986) contended that the species name aenea has been incorrectly applied and that the validity of a previously used species name, pseudornata, is the correct name for O. ornatum skinks.
This skink can be distinguished from O. ornatum by the absence of teardrop under eye, presence of a yellow undersurface and the smaller size, never greater than 62 mm SVL (Gill & Whitaker 1996).
A small skink (SVL up to 62 mm, total length up to 120mm; Gill & Whitaker 1996, Jewell 2008). Dorsal surfaces brown, often with a bright, copper-coloured stripe at the edges especially above the forelimbs. Jaw line flecked with black and white denticulate markings. Ventral surfaces cream-coloured or yellowish-green; unspotted. Throat paler than belly; usually heavily spotted with black. Tail, especially underside, may be flushed with red (Gill & Whitaker 1996, Jewell 2008).
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