[Read before the Wellington Philosophical Society, 30th June, 1886.]
In August of 1883 I had the pleasure of bringing under the notice of the Society two English butterflies—viz., the Red Admiral, or Alderman, and the Small Tortoiseshell, both of which were captured in the Wellington Botanic Gardens—and drew attention to the fact that the importation of plants and
seeds from various countries had become so extensive that it was almost certain much foreign animal life, some useful and some destructive, would be brought into the colony. It was also pointed out that, in order that the noxious forms might be more speedily detected, and to prevent confusion in future publications, it was advisable that the occurrence of unknown or uncommon species in a district should be promptly recorded.
The importation which I have now to notice is much higher in the scale than those already mentioned. It is the English Scaly Lizard (probably familiar to many persons present who in their young days rambled about the English country districts). As its food consists exclusively of insects, it is not likely to prove an unwelcome visitor.
Several specimens were captured about a year ago, on the Tinakori Hills, and one on the road, as it was crossing from the Botanic Gardens towards the shelter of the opposite bank. Being certain that it was quite distinct from any described New Zealand species, I took it to be a new form, and it was not until recently, when working up the specimens, that I became convinced it was a true British species.
As I have only found it in the localities mentioned, I conclude some specimens must have been brought to the Botanic Gardens in cases of plants. The following is the technical description:—