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In Otago this is a strictly alpine species. It makes very large burrows that open at the edge of a stone or within a mat-plant. The entrance is usually closed by a perforated cap of soil and plant particles. Immediately inside is a large cavity from which a single burrow passes deeper into the soils below. The animal usually rests close to the junction of the two. Males and females usually have separate burrows and the female lays its eggs into the soil surrounding its burrow. In Southland it may be found in very wet, sometimes lowland, situations, again in burrows. But it is strongly suspected that the soils although wet, are free draining. It is rarely seen in the northern portion of the alpine chain; a few specimens at very restricted sites at high elevation. Again the soils may be wet but are free draining.
Text updated: 5/05/2006