Species Profile and Threats Database

For information to assist proponents in referral, environmental assessments and compliance issues, refer to the Policy Statements and Guidelines (where available), the Conservation Advice (where available) or the Listing Advice (where available).
In addition, proponents and land managers should refer to the Recovery Plan (where available) or the Conservation Advice (where available) for recovery, mitigation and conservation information.

EPBC Act Listing Status Listed as Extinct
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans
Federal Register of
    Legislative Instruments
Declaration under s178, s181, and s183 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 - List of threatened species, List of threatened ecological communities and List of threatening processes (Commonwealth of Australia, 2000) [Legislative Instrument].
State Government
    Documents and Websites
WA:Declared rare and Poorly Known Flora in the Esperance District (Craig, G.F. & D.J. Coates, 2001) [State Species Management Plan].
State Listing Status
WA: Listed as Presumed Extinct (Wildlife Conservation Act 1950 (Western Australia): September 2013 list)
Scientific name Opercularia acolytantha [16394]
Family Rubiaceae:Rubiales:Magnoliopsida:Magnoliophyta:Plantae
Species author Diels
Infraspecies author  
Reference Botanische Jahrb~ycher 35 (14 Feb. 1905) 547.
Distribution map Species Distribution Map not available for this taxon.
Illustrations Google Images

Scientific name: Opercularia acolytantha

Common name: Esperance Dog Weed

Esperance Dog Weed was a small herb or shrub which grew up to 10 cm high. The species had a smooth stem and minute lower leaves. The upper leaves, 1–1.5 cm long and 1– 3 mm wide, were slightly rough to touch and linear to linear-lanceolate (lance-shaped). The globular flower heads were held on long stalks, which were curved at the top. The flowers were separate from one another as the 2.5 mm long calyx (sepal) tubes were not joined as in other species. The seeds were egg-shaped, 1.5–2 mm long, and three-sided with lateral appendages (Brown et al. 1998).

Esperance Dog Weed was found about 60 km north of Esperance in south-western Western Australia. The species is known from a single collection made in 1901. The type specimen was collected by Diels and probably lodged in Berlin where many specimens were destroyed during World War II. Duplicates of Diels' collections are widely distributed and it is possible that another specimen may eventually surface (Brown et al. 1998).

Esperance Dog Weed was found growing in open sandy areas (Brown et al. 1998). According to Diels and Pritzel (1904) "it appeared to us as being a genuine sand plant. We saw it settled on the most loose soil.".

Esperance Dog Weed possibly flowered from October to November. The specimen was fruiting in November (Brown et al. 1998).

The reasons for the extinction of Esperance Dog Weed are unknown.

The following table lists known and perceived threats to this species. Threats are based on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) threat classification version 1.1.

Threat Class Threatening Species References
Uncategorised:Uncategorised:threats not specified Opercularia acolytantha in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006rx) [Internet].

Brown, A., C. Thomson-Dans & N. Marchant, eds. (1998). Western Australia's Threatened Flora. Como, Western Australia: Department of Conservation and Land Management.

Diels, F.L.E. & E. Pritzel (1904). Fragmenta Phytographiae Australiae occidentalis: Beitrage zur Kenntnis der Pflanzen Westaustraliens, ihrer Verbreitung und ihrer Lebensverhaltnisse. Botanische Jahrbucher fur Systematik. 35:293.

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This database is designed to provide statutory, biological and ecological information on species and ecological communities, migratory species, marine species, and species and species products subject to international trade and commercial use protected under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act). It has been compiled from a range of sources including listing advice, recovery plans, published literature and individual experts. While reasonable efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, no guarantee is given, nor responsibility taken, by the Commonwealth for its accuracy, currency or completeness. The Commonwealth does not accept any responsibility for any loss or damage that may be occasioned directly or indirectly through the use of, or reliance on, the information contained in this database. The information contained in this database does not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth. This database is not intended to be a complete source of information on the matters it deals with. Individuals and organisations should consider all the available information, including that available from other sources, in deciding whether there is a need to make a referral or apply for a permit or exemption under the EPBC Act.

Citation: Department of the Environment (2014). Opercularia acolytantha in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: Accessed Fri, 19 Sep 2014 14:47:52 +1000.