Named after a prominent New Zealand naturalist, Sir Robert Falla (1901-1979). The taxonomy of O. fallai is apparently free of synonymies (Hardy 1977). This probably reflects the isolation and relative inaccessibility of the species on the Three Kings Islands. McCann (1955) listed only 6 previously collected specimens; the earliest (BMNH 1909.3.25.10) was presented to the British Museum (Natural History) by H. Suter, after the revisions of Boulenger (1887) and Lucas & Frost (1897). Wells & Wellington 1985 proposed the resurrection of Lygosomella Girard 1857 to accommodate O. fallai but this was clearly rejected by Chapple et al (2009).
SVL up to 140mm; lamellae on 4th toe hind foot 23-27; mid-body scale rows 40-46 (Meads 1972).
Falla's skink; Three Kings skink
A very large, robust skink. SVL ~120-142 mm (Meads 1972, Towns et al 2002, Jewell 2008). Dorsal surfaces light pinkish brown to dark brown or olive-brown, often speckled heavily, or with an apparent dark brown mid-dorsal stripe. Lateral surfaces with broad dark brown stripe above, flanked by a indistinct pale stripe, and grey beneath this broad dark stripe. Ventral surface yellowish, usually with black flecking. Throat grey. Sexual dimorphism is indicated by McCallum et al (1985), who indicated males being larger, more robustly built with darker undersurfaces, however Parrish & Gill (2003) did not find this significant in SVL.
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