Boulenger's Speckled Skink
(Oligosoma infrapunctatum)


John R. Platt, ""A Complete Enigma" - New Zealand Lizard Declared Extinct 130 Years after Only Sighting," Scientific American (August 25, 2019).

Species Description: Boulenger's speckled skink, or Oligosoma infrapunctatum, is a species of speckled skink, brown in color, with spots along its back.

Former Habitat: Boulenger's speckled skink existed in New Zealand. 

Extinction: The species has been described as a "complete enigma" and has only been spotted in the wild once. This sighting took place over 130 years ago by George Albert Boulenger, a famous Belgian-British zoologist who named more than 2,000 species during his lifetime. According to recent research based on studies of mitochondrial DNA, the Boulenger's speckled skink is one of six different species around New Zealand and the only one currently extinct. 

The original specimen is currently in the British Museum in London. While scientists cannot currently extract DNA from the specimen, its physiological characteristics are distinctive enough to warrant the Boulenger's speckled skink being its own species separate from the five other related species.