Analyses by Greaves et al (2007) of the O. chloronoton-O. lineoocellatum species complex found major clades in O. chloronoton. 'Clade 3a': This clade is known from Western Otago, 'Clade 3b': This clade is known from Eastern Otago, 'Clade 3c': This clade is known in Southland, and 'Clade 3d': from Southland and Stewart Island. The three 'forms' in Jewell (2008)—Otago, Southland and Stewart Island—do not match up with these identified clades in Greaves et al (2007) (Clades 3a-d), or to the two taxa recognised in Hitchmough et al (2007) (O. chloronoton and O. chloronoton ‘West Otago’). However, the Lakes skink (Oligosoma sp. 3) do appear to conform with O. sp. 'West Otago' .
Hardy (1977) recognised this species from within O. lineoocellatum.
Jewell (2008) identified some geographical variation in the species, but the 'forms' do not appear to fit with any of the identified subclades in Greaves et al (2007).
A large skink (90-115 mm SVL, up to 125 mm, total length up to 200 mm; Hardy 1977, Gill & Whitaker 1996, Jewell 2008). Dorsal surface light to dark brown, olive-green or deep green, often with an iridescent sheen. White or green ocelli-like spots edged with black scattered along back. A cream or light brown dorso-lateral stripe may be present. Lateral surfaces with upper black or brown band or heavy flecks with paler flecks or spots.. Lower lateral surface pale grey, or grey-brown with some specking. Limbs brown with white spots. Ventral surfaces uniform or (sometimes spotted), usually grey, bright pink or red, with tinge often extending to latero-ventral sides. Throat light grey with chin flecked or streaked in black (Hardy 1977, Gill & Whitaker 1996, Jewell 2008).
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