O. microlepis is part of the O. smithi cryptic species complex.
The scientific name means 'small scales'.
The species is geographically isolated from the most similar species (O. maccanni, O. longipes and O. smithi). A count of 38-44 rows of scales encircling the middle of the body provides clear distinction from O. polychroma (26-34 rows).
O. microlepis can be distinguished from species of similar general appearance (O. polychroma, O. .lineoocellatum and O. zelandicum) by the high number of mid-body scales (less than 36, mean = 42).
A small skink (SVL up to 70 mm; Towns et al 2002). Dorsal surfaces grey to grey-brown above with prominent longitudinal stripes and blotchy pale grey speckling. Lateral surfaces with broad dark-brown stripe above (bordered by thin pale stripes, often notched) and below this grey or grey-brow with flecks. Ventral surfaces pale, uniform. Longitudinal rows of scales at mid-body numerous. This species has small body scales and a large number of rows of scales at the mid-body compared to its relatives of similar size. Soles of feet grey (Towns et al 2002, Jewell 2008).
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