The species is named after Charles McCann. Long included in earlier concepts of O. nigriplantare and O. zealandicum, but separated by Patterson & Daugherty 1990.
O'Neill et al 2008 identified several clades: Clade 1: Queenstown. Clade 2: West Otago. Clade 3: Hawea and North West Otago. Clade 4: East Otago/Southland from Ida Ranges to Hokonui Hills. Clade 5: Central Canterbury from Lake Tekapo to Lake Pukaki. Clade 6 Banks Peninsula, Canterbury. Clade 7: South Canterbury north of Waitaki River.
'Garston skink': O'Neill et al (2008) indicated that the Garston skink, a melanistic skink is not genetically distinct from O. maccanni. This skink falls within Clade 2 in O'Neill et al (2008).
A small to medium skink (up to 73 mm SVL; O'Neill et al 2008, Jewell 2008). Dorsal surfaces grey or light brown, either uniform, patterned or striped. If patterened, the pattern may be herringbone or chequered; if striped, the stripes may be smooth or notched. Mid-dorsal stripe, if present, may become broken, notched or wavy on tail. Lateral surfaces with broad dark brown stripe, upper, bordered by either smooth or notched thin white stripes; below this, grey or grey brown. Ventral surfaces whitish grey or yellow, usually uniform but may be finely speckled with black. Throat whitish grey, usually finely speckled with black. Midbody scale row count 28-34 (Jewell 2008).
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