Rainbow skink or Copper skink?


I caught this little skink scuttling across my bedroom floor the other day. Native copper skink or introduced rainbow skink I wondered? Well, in suburban Auckland most likely it’s rainbow but the easy way to tell for sure is to look at the scale pattern on its head. Easier said than done as it wouldn’t sit still and I needed to hold a magnifying glass on it. Then while looking at the ipad I noticed a movement out of the corner of my eye – it was off, out of the jar and escaping again. In the end I put it in the back garden which is more rough than manicured so it should be happy.


3 thoughts on “Rainbow skink or Copper skink?

  1. David Riddell

    It’s a rainbow skink i’m afraid. The general proportions, especially the long tail (even with the tip missing) and the dark stripe reaching right to the eye are enough to distinguish it from copper skink. The dull brown colour and fine speckling on the back are also not quite right for coppers.

    I found this page looking for info on rainbow skinks at Tawharanui, as I thought I saw some when I was there on Sunday/Monday this week – only got quick glimpses though. Do you know if they’ve been recorded there?

    1. Richard Chambers Post author

      Yes there are rainbow skinks at the western end of the park but I’m not sure how far they’ve made their way out towards Tokatu Point.

      And yes you’re exactly right about my one being a rainbow. Cheers

      1. David Riddell

        Thanks for that. The ones I saw were along the gravel road that runs up the western side of the wetland area west of the camping ground, so well to the west. Though I also thought I saw a couple at the western end of the Fisherman’s Track, between the top of the brown teal pond and that gully with all the nikau and puriri. A bit sad to have them there, though I see the shore skinks are doing really well, and picked up the eye shine of what I’m pretty sure was a gecko in the top of a tall kanuka while out on a night walk (also saw a kiwi!).

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