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 Caladenia colorata
Recovery Plan Decision Recovery Plan required, included on the Commenced List (1/11/2009).
 
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans
Other EPBC Act Plans Threat Abatement Plan for Competition and Land Degradation by Feral Rabbits (Environment Australia (EA), 1999c) [Threat Abatement Plan].
 
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 Caladenia colorata.
 
State Government
    Documents and Websites
SA:South Australian Murray Darling Basin Threatened Flora Recovery Plan (Obst, C., 2005) [Report].
State Listing Status
SA: Listed as Endangered (National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972 (South Australia): June 2011 list) as Caladenia colorata
VIC: Listed as Threatened (Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 (Victoria): February 2014 list) as Caladenia colorata
Scientific name Caladenia colorata [54999]
Family Orchidaceae:Orchidales:Liliopsida:Magnoliophyta:Plantae
Species author D.L.Jones
Infraspecies author  
Reference Jones, D.L. (1991) New taxa of Australian Orchidaceae. Australian Orchid Research 2: 21, fig. 22 [tax. nov.]
Other names Arachnorchis colorata [76205]
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: Caladenia colorata

Common Name: Painted Spider-orchid, Small Western Spider-orchid, Coloured Spider-orchid, Pretty Spider Orchid

Conventionally accepted as Caladenia colorata (CHAH 2005). Previously referred to as Arachnorchis colorataCaladenia sp., Calonema colorata and Calonemorchis colorata. In addition, this species was treated as a form of Common Spider-orchid (Caladenia patersonii) for a time (Bates 2009).

The Painted Spider-orchid is a hirsute (hairy), terrestrial herb growing to 5–25 cm in height. Leaves are ovate-lanceolate, densely felted with a red base and grow to 10 cm in length. Flowers are about 5 cm across, generally cream-green with red or purple-brown markings, dark glandular tips to all segments. They are, however, variable and can sometimes be wholly purple-brown. The labellum (lip) is a flat, single lobe with an elongated tip that curls under, margins that are shortly fringed-dentate and a mid-lobe that is usually darker. The dorsal sepal is narrow throughout and erect, and the lateral sepals have a broad, flat, almost horizontal base and narrow pendulous tips. Petals are behind the flower and similar to dorsal and lateral sepals but shorter (Bates 2011; Jones 1991b).

The Painted Spider-orchid is known from South Australia (SA) and Victoria. Generally it is known to be absent from high rainfall districts (Bates 2009, 2011).

In SA, the species is found from the Barossa Valley in the north, through the Murray and Lake flats to the upper south-east of the State. More specifically, the orchid is found in the Murray Mallee and Murray Plains regions, along the eastern margins of the southern Mt Lofty Ranges and in the south-east around Mt Gambier (Jones 1991b; Threatened Plant Population Database 1998 cited in Obst 2005). Collections of species have also been made from the Hartley, Milang, Monarto, Lower Flinders Ranges and Freeling areas (Threatened Plant Population Database 1998 in Obst 2005). This species is extinct at Kapunda (Bates 2000 pers. comm.).

In Victoria, the species is known from the Lower Glenelg in the state's south-east. A population, reported from the Princess Margaret Rose Caves Reserve (Victorian Workshop Participants 2000 pers. comm.), was later identified as another species (Jones 2001 pers. comm.).

The extent of occurrence of this species is 2334.8 km² (Obst 2005).

Field work on this species has previously been conducted by Jones (1991b) and Obst (2005). Six new populations (that were previously unrecorded in Government databases) were recorded during the 2005 survey (Obst 2005).

The Painted Spider-orchid has 851 total known plants over 11 populations (Obst 2005).

The following table provides details of all known populations of the species in the SA Murray Darling Basin (Obst 2005).

Priority for recovery Population number Land tenure, nearest town Total no. of plants Area of occupancy (m²)
 1  6 Heritage agreement, Hartley  378  13 000
 1  8 Private property, Callington  161  100 000
 1  7 Private property, Callington  95  7500
 1  4 Jaensch Road, Hartley  9  150
 2  10 Private property, Coonalpyn  59  1400
 2  2 Heritage agreement, Hartley  50  22 500
 2  11 Coorong National Park (Potters Scrub), Meningie  36  55
 2  1 Heritage agreement, Coonalpyn  35  39
 2  5 Private property, Callington  24  62 500
 3  3 Heritage agreement, Hartley  2  2
 3  9 Heritage agreement, Finniss  2  200

The Painted Spider-orchid forms frequent hybrids with the Thick-lipped Spider-orchid (Caladenia cardiochila), the Limestone Spider-orchid (C. calcicola), the Tawny Spider-orchid (C. fulva) and the Starry Spider-orchid (C. stellata). Less frequent crosses occur between the Painted Spider-orchid and the Mallee Spider-orchid (C. verrucosa) and other Green-comb Spider-orchids (Bates 2009).

Of the eleven populations recorded during the 2005 field survey (Obst 2005), five are conserved in Heritage Agreements, one is conserved in a National Park and five are not within formal conservation areas.

The Painted Spider-orchid grows in sandy, fertile soils but also in rock outcrops and in mallee/broombush associations (Bates 2009). This species grows in woodland dominated by South Australian Blue Gum (Eucalyptus leucoxylon), Pink Gum (E. fasciculosa), Drooping Sheoak (Allocasuarina stricta) and Rottnest Island Pine (Callitris preissii) (Bates 2011; Jones 1991b; Jones 2001 pers. comm.).

Using data from areas near where the orchid is found (weather stations at Meningie and Strathalbyn in south-east SA), it is possible to ascertain general rainfall and climate needs for the Painted Spider-orchid. The mean annual rainfall is 467.4 mm and 492.5 mm respectively. Average temperatures in January are 13–27 ºC , and the average temperatures in June are approximately 7–15.5 ºC (Obst 2005).

Habitat Associations

The Painted Spider-orchid occurs in the following habitat (Obst 2005):

  • Eucalyptus leucoxylon subsp. leucoxylon +/- E. fasciculosa +/- Callitris preissii Woodland

Native mid-storey species of this association include Golden Wattle (Acacia pycnantha), Broom Baeckea (Baeckea behrii) and Sweet Bursaria (Bursaria spinosa). Native understorey species of this association include Austrostipa sp., Dianella revoluta var. revoluta, Twiggy Guinea-flower (Hibbertia virgatus), Kunzea pomifera, Sticky Sword Sedge (Lepidosperma viscidum), Yam Daisy (Microseris lanceolata) and the Paper Flower (Thomasia petalocalyx) (Obst 2005).

  • Eucalyptus fasciculosa +/- E. porosa +/- Callitris preissii Open Woodland

Native mid-storey species of this association include Reed-leaf Wattle (Acacia calamifolia), Hedge Wattle (Acacia paradoxa), Sweet Bursaria, Mallee Honeymyrtle (Melaleuca acuminata) and Broom Honeymyrtle (Melaleuca uncinata). Native understorey species of this association include Chocolate Lilly (Arthropodium strictum), Austrostipa sp., Scented Sundew (Drosera whittakeri), Heathy Saw-sedge (Gahnia deusta), Sticky Sword Sedge, Scented Mat-rush (Lomandra effusa) and the Yam Daisy (Obst 2005). 

  • Eucalyptus diversifolia +/- Acacia pycnantha +/- Allocasuarina verticillata +/-Myoporum insulare Mallee Woodland

Native mid-storey species of this association include Dodonaea viscosa subsp. spatulata, Black Paperbark (Melaleuca lanceolata) and Sand-heath Yacca (Xanthorrhoea caespitosa). Native understorey species of this association include Dianella revoluta var. revoluta, Beaked Hakea (Hakea rostrata), Silky Guinea-flower (Hibbertia sericea), Black Rapier-sedge (Lepidosperma carphoides), Sticky Sword Sedge, Yam Daisy and the Paper Flower (Obst 2005).

The flowering period of the Painted Spider-orchid extends through August and September (Bates 1992; Jones 1991b) to early October (Bates 2011). The species is pollinated by sexually attracted male wasps (Bates 2009, 2011).

The Painted Spider-orchid forms frequent hybrids (setting up hybrid swarms) with the Thick-lipped Spider-orchid (Caladenia cardiochila), the Limestone Spider-orchid (C. calcicola), the Tawny Spider-orchid and the Star Spider-orchid (C. stellata). The species is also known to form infrequent hybrids with green comb spider-orchids such as the Little Yellow-club Mallee Spider-orchid (C. verrucosa) (Bates 2011).

Originally thought to be a form of Common Spider-orchid, the Painted Spider-orchid differs from the C. patersonii complex in its small stature, multicoloured flowers with short segments, faint petrochemical odour and short clavate tips to sepals and petals (Obst 2005).

Morphologically similar species include the Pink-lipped Spider-orchid (Caladenia behrii), the Winter Spider-orchid (C. brumalis), the Crimson Spider-orchid (C. concolor), the Tawny Spider-orchid (C. fulva) and the Mount Remarkable Spider-orchid (C. woolcockiorum) (Bates 2009). The Painted Spider-orchid is distinguishable from a combination of features including the species' short, pale-felted leaves, small size, varicolored flowers and its frequently coloured median stripe on the sepals (Bates 2011).

The closest genetic relative of the Painted Spider-orchid is the Rosella Spider-orchid (C. rosella). While the flowers of some Painted Spider-orchid specimens may be of a similar rich mauve-pink to that of the Rosella Spider-orchid, most are creamy-green with a maroon labellum and some are even wholly red. Morphologically, the former species can be distinguished by its much fewer, shorter marginal calli on the labellum and more numerous, smaller lamina (leaf blade) calli (Bates 2000 pers. comm.; Jones 1991b).

The Pink-lipped Spider-orchid and the Mount Remarkable Spider-orchid are recognisable by being taller plants with longer leaves and with pale and uniformly coloured segments. The Winter Spider-orchid, while of a similar size and also being a plains dweller, has distinguishable cream coloured flowers and paler glands. Wholly red flowers on a Painted Spider-orchid are difficult to separate from a Crimson Spider-orchid. However, the former probably does not occur in SA (Bates 2009, 2011).

Medium to High Risk Threats

Inadequate knowledge of distribution, abundance and population trends are an issue for all populations of Painted Spider-orchid (Obst 2005).

Grazing of leaves and flowers threatens populations 1, 3–9 and 11. The herbivores causing this are unknown, but are likely to be the Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) or kangaroos (Macropodidae sp.). Grazing by stock is an issue at population 5 (Obst 2005). Fragmentation is a threat for populations 1–5 and 9–11 (Obst 2005). Lack of formal protection is an issue at populations 4, 5, 7, 8 and 10 (Obst 2005). Recreational activities (trampling by horse riding) is an issue at population 4 (Obst 2005). Perennial Veldt Grass (Ehrharta calycina) is an issue at populations 1, 7–9 and 11. Bridal Creeper (Asparagus asparagoides) is an issue at populations 1, 4, 7–9 and 11 (Obst 2005).

Low Risk Threats

Threats of low risk include weeds (other than those listed above), other disturbances (eg rubbish dumping, flooding, revegetation, bees threatening effective pollination), road/rail maintenance activities, lack of recruitment, dieback and Phytophthora (plant damaging water moulds), illegal collection, vegetation clearance and trampling (EA 2001m; Jones 1991b; Kahrimanis et al. 2001 cited in Obst 2005; Obst 2005; SA DEH 2005b).

Road Widening Project

A major development being proposed in the Monarto area is a composting facility and the associated road widening along Ferries-McDonald Road. The route determined as part of the Southern and Hills Local Government Association (S&HLGA) 2010 Transport Plan (proposing 1.33 ha of land be cleared) has been approved. There are records of Neat Wattle (Acacia rhetinocarpa), the Metallic Sun-orchid (Thelymitra epipactoides) and the Painted Spider-orchid from within the Monarto and Ferries-McDonald Conservation Parks, and the vegetation that would be cleared could be considered as potential habitat for these species. According to the most recent information available, work was scheduled to begin on the project in July 2011 (RCMB 2009, 2011; Obst 2005), following conditional approval of the plan by the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Populations and Communities in November 2010 (EPBC Referral 2008/4211).

There was no prior conservation effort directed toward this species in South Australia before 2005 (Obst 2005).

Specific recovery objectives for the Painted Spider-orchid are provided below (Obst 2005):

  • Acquire accurate information on distribution, abundance, threats and critical and potential habitat.
  • Maximise the number of populations and amount of habitat that is protected.
  • Manage threat from weeds.
  • Manage the threats from grazing herbivores.
  • Manage other threats to populations.
  • Monitor and evaluate populations and extension activities.
  • Manage fragmented populations.
  • Increase knowledge of this species through targeted research.
  • Ensure sufficient resources are available to implement recovery plan.
  • Effectively coordinate and implement recovery project.

Management documents for the Painted Spider-orchid can be found at the start of this profile. Other management documents relavent to the species include:

  • Threatened Flora of the South Australian Murray Darling Basin (SA DEH 2005b).

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 Caladenia colorata in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006cz) [Internet].
Agriculture and Aquaculture:Livestock Farming and Grazing:Grazing pressures and associated habitat changes Regional Recovery Plan for Threatened Species & Ecological Communities of Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges 2009-2014 (Willson, A. & J. Bignall, 2009a) [State Recovery Plan].
Biological Resource Use:Hunting and Collecting Terrestrial Animals:Illegal hunting/harvesting and collection Regional Recovery Plan for Threatened Species & Ecological Communities of Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges 2009-2014 (Willson, A. & J. Bignall, 2009a) [State Recovery Plan].
Climate Change and Severe Weather:Climate Change and Severe Weather:Climate change altering atmosphere/hydrosphere temperatures, rainfall patterns and/or frequency of severe weather events Regional Recovery Plan for Threatened Species & Ecological Communities of Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges 2009-2014 (Willson, A. & J. Bignall, 2009a) [State Recovery Plan].
Human Intrusions and Disturbance:Recreational Activities:Disturbance, especially from human recreational activities and development Regional Recovery Plan for Threatened Species & Ecological Communities of Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges 2009-2014 (Willson, A. & J. Bignall, 2009a) [State Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation by weeds Regional Recovery Plan for Threatened Species & Ecological Communities of Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges 2009-2014 (Willson, A. & J. Bignall, 2009a) [State Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Vegetation and habitat loss caused by dieback Phytophthora cinnamomi Threat abatement plan for disease in natural ecosystems caused by Phytophthora cinnamomi (Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA), 2009w) [Threat Abatement Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Problematic Native Species:Competition, predation and/or habitat degradation by kangaroos and wallabies Regional Recovery Plan for Threatened Species & Ecological Communities of Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges 2009-2014 (Willson, A. & J. Bignall, 2009a) [State Recovery Plan].
Species Stresses:Indirect Species Effects:Low numbers of individuals Caladenia colorata in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006cz) [Internet].
Transportation and Service Corridors:Roads and Railroads:Development and/or maintenance of roads Regional Recovery Plan for Threatened Species & Ecological Communities of Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges 2009-2014 (Willson, A. & J. Bignall, 2009a) [State Recovery Plan].

Bates, R. (2009). South Australian Native Orchids. Compact Disc. Adelaide: Native Orchid Society of South Australia.

Bates, R.J (2011). South Australia's Native Orchids. Compact disc. Native Orchid Society of South Australia.

Bates, R.J. (2000). Personal Communication.

Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria (CHAH) (2005). Australian Plant Census. [Online]. Australian National Herbarium, Australian National Botanic Gardens and Australian Biological Resources Study . Available from: http://www.anbg.gov.au/chah/apc/.

Environment Australia (EA) (1999c). Threat Abatement Plan for Competition and Land Degradation by Feral Rabbits. [Online]. Biodiversity Group, Environment Australia. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/tap/rabbits08.html.

Environment Australia (EA) (2001m). Threat Abatement Plan for Dieback Caused by the Root-rot Fungus Phytophthora cinnamomi. [Online]. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/tap/phytophthora.html.

Jones, D.L. (1991b). New Taxa of Australian Orchidaceae. Australian Orchid Research. 2. Essendon: Australian Orchid Foundation.

Jones, D.L. (2001). Personal Communication.

Obst, C. (2005). South Australian Murray Darling Basin Threatened Flora Recovery Plan. [Online]. Report to the Threatened Species and Communities Section, Australian Government Department of the Environment and Heritage, Canberra. Available from: http://www.environment.sa.gov.au/files/542b195d-5854-46d1-aeb7-9e3701172106/SAMDB_Thr_Fl_Rec_Plan_05Jun.pdf.

South Australia Department for Environment and Heritage (SA DEH) (2005b). Threatened Flora of the South Australian Murray Darling Basin. Recovery planning for nine nationally threatened plants. Fact Sheet. Adelaide, South Australia: DEH.

The Rural City of Murray Bridge (RCMB) (2009). Ferries McDonald Road Redevelopment Project. [Online]. Available from: http://www.murraybridge.sa.gov.au/webdata/resources/files/REPORT_RCMB_to_DEWHA_on_Public_Responses_for_EPBC_Act_Referral_-_January_2010_FINAL_-_No_Names_as_Requested.pdf.

The Rural City of Murray Bridge (RCMB) (2011). Ferries McDonald Road and Sixth Street Lighting. [Online]. Available from: http://www.murraybridge.sa.gov.au/page.aspx?u=445&c=12162.

Victorian Workshop Participants (2000). Personal communication.

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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). Caladenia colorata in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/sprat. Accessed Sat, 2 Aug 2014 14:32:26 +1000.