These lizards were illustrated in an article by naturalist Walter Buller. In Māori tradition lizards were descended from Tū-te-wehiwehi, who came from the sea but chose to live on land.
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Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand
Reference: Walter Buller, ‘A list of the lizards inhabiting New Zealand, with descriptions.’ Transactions and proceedings of the New Zealand Institute, 1870. Vol. 3. Wellington: James Hughes, 1871, plate 2
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