Biodiversity

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 Endangered as Diuris pedunculata
Listing and Conservation Advices Commonwealth Conservation Advice for Diuris pedunculata (Small Snake Orchid) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2014ck) [Conservation Advice].
 
Recovery Plan Decision Recovery Plan not required, the approved conservation advice for the species provides sufficient direction to implement priority actions and mitigate against key threats (29/04/2014).
 
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans
Policy Statements and Guidelines Draft survey guidelines for Australia's threatened orchids (Department of the Environment, 2013b) [Admin Guideline].
 
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] as Diuris pedunculata.
 
State Government
    Documents and Websites
NSW:Small Snake Orchid - profile (NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW), 2005cq) [Internet].
State Listing Status
NSW: Listed as Endangered (Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 (New South Wales): December 2013 list) as Diuris pedunculata
Scientific name Diuris pedunculata [18325]
Family Orchidaceae:Orchidales:Liliopsida:Magnoliophyta:Plantae
Species author R.Br.
Infraspecies author  
Reference Prodromus Florae Novae Hollandiae (27 Mar. 1810) 316.
Other names Diuris pallens [23022]
Distribution map Species Distribution Map

This is an indicative distribution map of the present distribution of the species based on best available knowledge. See map caveat for more information.

Illustrations Google Images

Scientific name: Diuris pedunculata

Common name: Small Snake-orchid

Other names: Two-leaved Golden Moths, Golden Moths, Cowslip Orchid, Snake Orchid

Once considered to be present over a wide range in eastern Australia (Rouse 2003), Diuris peduculata has been taxonomically separated into the new species D. subalpina (found in southeast NSW, ACT and north-east Victoria) with the populations restricted to the New England area of NSW to remain as D. pedunculata (Jones 2008).

As of 2010, State herbariums and the Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria (CHAH) had not incorporated the split of Diuris pedunculata into the more widespread D. subalpina with D. pedunculata remaining as a NSW endemic species restricted to the New England area. Many databases will still show D. pedunculata as present in NSW and Victoria, and possibly Tasmania and South Australia. The EPBC species listing of D. pedunculata is related to the NSW endemic restricted to the New England tablelands area.

A slender, glabrous terrestrial herb, the Small Snake-orchid is a member of the 'Donkey' orchid group, with one to two bright yellow flowers with dark stripes and two drooping side petals on a flowering stem less than 10 cm tall. Flowers are approximately 1.5–2 cm wide. The Dorsal sepal (top petal) is erect, more orange than the rest of the flower with a bright purple centre, and is 7–10 mm long and 5–6 mm wide. The orchid produces two thin leaves which grow up to 16 cm long (Harden 1993; NSW DECCW 2005cq; Peacock 1996; Quinn et al. 1995).

The Small Snake-orchid is endemic to NSW. It was originally found scattered from Tenterfield, south to the Hawkesbury River, but is now mainly found on the New England Tablelands, around Armidale, Uralla, Guyra and Ebor (NSW DECCW 2005cq).

The Small Snake-orchid prefers moist areas (Rouse 2003; Woolcock & Woolcock 1984), and has been found growing in open areas of dry sclerophyll forests with grassy understories, in riparian forests (including gallery rainforests), swamp forests, in sub-alpine grasslands and herbfields. The species is not often found in dense forests or heavily shrubby areas. Soils are well-structured red-brown clay loams and stony loams, though occasionally the Small Snake-orchid has been found in peaty soils in seasonally moist areas, from shale, and fine granite. The altitude range known for the species is 50–900 m (Jones 1999, pers. comm.; Quinn et al. 1995).

The flowering period of the species is between August and October (Jones 1999, pers. comm.; Peacock 1996). Pollination is by sexual deception, with the Small Snake-orchid attracting mostly males of the insect Halictus lanuginosus, even though the plants produce nectar and emit a strong scent that usually attracts numerous pollinators (Jersáková et al. 2006).

Identified threats to the Small Snake Orchid include (NSW DECCW 2005cq; Quinn et al. 1995):

  • Clearing and fragmentation of habitat for agriculture and development.
  • Grazing and trampling by domestic stock.
  • Destruction and disturbance of habitat for roadside maintenance works.
  • Weed invasion.
  • Illegal plant removal by orchid collectors.
  • Feral pigs disturbing or eating orchid tubers.
  • Frequent fire or fire during the active growth period (spring-autumn).
  • Risk of local extinction due to small, scattered populations.

The NSW Department of the Environment and Conservation (NSW DECCW 2005cq) identified the following actions that would assist in protecting the Small Snake-orchid in the wild:

  • Enjoy viewing and photographing native orchids but leave them in the wild.
  • Control of feral pigs in habitat areas.
  • Protect areas of known habitat from frequent fire.
  • Protect known populations and habitat areas from grazing stock.
  • Identify roadside populations and protect during road maintenance activities.
  • Assist with the control of weeds in habitat areas.
  • Protect areas of known or potential habitat from clearing or disturbance.

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
Agriculture and Aquaculture:Agriculture and Aquaculture:Land clearing, habitat fragmentation and/or habitat degradation Diuris pedunculata in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006hm) [Internet].
Agriculture and Aquaculture:Livestock Farming and Grazing:Grazing pressures and associated habitat changes Diuris pedunculata in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006hm) [Internet].
Northern Rivers Regional Biodiversity Management Plan (NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW), 2010p) [State Recovery Plan].
Biological Resource Use:Gathering Terrestrial Plants:Illegal collection Diuris pedunculata in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006hm) [Internet].
Climate Change and Severe Weather:Habitat Shifting and Alteration:Habitat loss, modification and/or degradation Northern Rivers Regional Biodiversity Management Plan (NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW), 2010p) [State Recovery Plan].
Ecosystem/Community Stresses:Indirect Ecosystem Effects:Loss and/or fragmentation of habitat and/or subpopulations Northern Rivers Regional Biodiversity Management Plan (NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW), 2010p) [State Recovery Plan].
Human Intrusions and Disturbance:Human Intrusions and Disturbance:Human induced disturbance due to unspecified activities Northern Rivers Regional Biodiversity Management Plan (NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW), 2010p) [State Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation by weeds Diuris pedunculata in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006hm) [Internet].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Grazing, tramping, competition and/or habitat degradation Sus scrofa (Pig) The threat posed by pest animals to biodiversity in New South Wales (Coutts-Smith, A.J., P.S. Mahon, M. Letnic & P.O. Downey, 2007) [Management Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Predation, competition, habitat degradation and/or spread of pathogens by introduced species Diuris pedunculata in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006hm) [Internet].
Natural System Modifications:Fire and Fire Suppression:Inappropriate and/or changed fire regimes (frequency, timing, intensity) Northern Rivers Regional Biodiversity Management Plan (NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW), 2010p) [State Recovery Plan].
Uncategorised:Uncategorised:threats not specified Diuris pedunculata in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006hm) [Internet].

Harden, G.J. (ed) (1993). Flora of New South Wales, Volume Four. Kensington, NSW: University of NSW Press.

Jersáková, J., S.D. Johnson & P. Kindlmann (2006). Mechanisms and evolution of deceptive pollination in orchids. Biological Review. 81:219-235.

Jones, D.L. (1999). Personal Communication.

Jones, D.L. (2008). Twelve new species of Orchidaceae from south-eastern Australia. The Orchadian. 15 (12):546.

NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW) (2005cq). Small Snake Orchid - profile. [Online]. Available from: http://www.threatenedspecies.environment.nsw.gov.au/tsprofile/profile.aspx?id=10239.

Peacock, R.J. (1996). ROTAP Species of the Walcha/Nundle and Styx River Management Area.

Quinn, F., J.B. Williams, C.L. Gross & J. Bruhl (1995). Report on rare and threatened plants of north-eastern New South Wales. Armidale: University of New England.

Rouse, D.T. (2003). Discovery of Diuris pedunculata R.Br. in Victoria. The Orchadian. 14(6):256-259.

Woolcock, C. & Woolcock, D. (1984). Australian Terrestrial Orchids. Melbourne, Thomas Nelson Australia.

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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). Diuris pedunculata in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/sprat. Accessed Thu, 31 Jul 2014 06:24:50 +1000.