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 Vulnerable
Recovery Plan Decision Recovery Plan required, included on the Commenced List (1/11/2009).
 
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans National Recovery Plan for the Spiral Sun Orchid Thelymitra matthewsii (Duncan, M, 2010a) [Recovery 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].
 
State Government
    Documents and Websites
SA:Draft Recovery Plan for 15 Nationally Threatened Plant Species, Kangaroo Island, South Australia, second edition 2003-2013 (Taylor, D.A., 2008) [State Recovery Plan].
State Listing Status
SA: Listed as Endangered (National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972 (South Australia): June 2011 list)
VIC: Listed as Threatened (Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 (Victoria): February 2014 list)
Non-statutory Listing Status
VIC: Listed as Vulnerable (Advisory List of Rare or Threatened Plants in Victoria: 2005)
Scientific name Thelymitra matthewsii [4168]
Family Orchidaceae:Orchidales:Liliopsida:Magnoliophyta:Plantae
Species author Cheeseman
Infraspecies author  
Reference Transactions and Proceedings of the New Zealand Institute 43: 177 (1910).
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
http://www.geocities.com/orchidsnzphotos/3d_thelymitramatthewsii.htm

The Spiral Sun-orchid has a slender green flower stem growing to 20 cm tall. Flowers are solitary (rarely two) and bluish purple with darker stripes, its column being purplish with a bright yellow tip (Backhouse & Jeanes 1995).

Thelymitra matthewsii is currently known to occur in Vic., SA and NZ. Throughout its range the species is rare and of sporadic distribution.

In Vic. it is scattered across the S of the state in the Grampians, Midlands, Otway Plain, Gippsland Plain and East Gippsland Natural Regions (Conn 1993). Collections from Vic. at MEL herbarium include: Anglesea, Genoa, Pomonal, Grampians and Mullungdung Forest (MEL collection records).

Recently recorded populations that are probably extant from NRE (2000) and MEL Collecton Records:

Population locationNo. of plantsYear
The Grampians, near Teddy Bear Gap. 4
40
1987
1989
Mirranatwa Gap50
9
1975
1980
near Halls Gap.31985
near Mt Zero (4 populations)301985
near Anglesea (2 populations)301981
near Yarram31981
near Genoa (4 populations)271986

More recently, a third Victorian population was found at Anglesea, collected from Gotton Gorge Road, S of Mt Sturgeon (G.W.Carr 2000, pers. comm.).

In Vic. there are from 50 to 100 plants, with numbers varying from year to year (J.G.Eichler, D.G.Cook, R.F.Parsons, J.A.Jeanes, G.N.Backhouse & D.A.Tomkinson, Victorian Workshop 2000, pers. comm.).

In SA it is known from three fairly old collections from Kangaroo I. and SW of Keith (Bates & Weber 1990). It has recently been found to occur south of Meningie, and on western Kangaroo Island (R.J.Bates 2000, pers. comm.; R.J.P.Davies 2000, pers. comm.).

In NZ it is known only by a few collections from the vicinity of Kaitaia near the northern tip of the North Island (Moore & Edgar 1970). It was considered to be extinct in NZ (Johns & Molloy 1983) until its recent rediscovery (St George et al. 1996).

Thelymitra matthewsii favours open forests and woodlands in well-drained sand and clay loams. It is a post-disturbance coloniser that is usually found in open areas around old quarries and gravel pits, on road verges, disused tracks and animal trails (Backhouse & Jeanes 1995).

It has been recorded as growing on gravely soils in disturbed areas of low coastal forest (Bishop 1996), in swampy soils (R.J.Bates 2000, pers. comm.), on lateritic podsol on gently sloping plateaus or from sand overlying limestone on undulating plain (Davies 1986, 1992).

Flowering occurs from late Aug. to early Oct. (Backhouse & Jeanes 1995). The species is autogamous. where ovules of a flower are fertilised by pollen from the same flower, with all flowers producing seed capsules regardless of whether the flowers have opened or not (J.Jeanes 2001, pers. comm.). Reproduction is entirely from seed that is most likely ripe and dispersed four to eight weeks after flowering. The longevity of individual plants is unknown, but colonies that have been monitored show a decline in plant numbers over one or two decades (Cropper 1993).

As a post-disturbance coloniser, populations have generally demonstrated a decline in the total number of plants, and the number of flowering individuals, following their initial discovery. As old colonies decline, new colonies will become established if freshly disturbed sites are available nearby. Fire may be useful to prolong the life of existing populations by reducing competition from other plants (Cropper 1993), and may also aid the establishment of new colonies.

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
Biological Resource Use:Gathering Terrestrial Plants:Illegal collection Thelymitra matthewsii in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006zc) [Internet].
Human Intrusions and Disturbance:Human Intrusions and Disturbance:Inappropriate disturbance regimes National Recovery Plan for the Spiral Sun Orchid Thelymitra matthewsii (Duncan, M, 2010a) [Recovery Plan].
Human Intrusions and Disturbance:Recreational Activities:Habitat disturbance from recreational vehicle use National Recovery Plan for the Spiral Sun Orchid Thelymitra matthewsii (Duncan, M, 2010a) [Recovery Plan].
Human Intrusions and Disturbance:Recreational Activities:Soil disturbance and/or trampling due to bushwalking National Recovery Plan for the Spiral Sun Orchid Thelymitra matthewsii (Duncan, M, 2010a) [Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation Lepus capensis (Brown Hare) National Recovery Plan for the Spiral Sun Orchid Thelymitra matthewsii (Duncan, M, 2010a) [Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation Oryctolagus cuniculus (Rabbit, European Rabbit) National Recovery Plan for the Spiral Sun Orchid Thelymitra matthewsii (Duncan, M, 2010a) [Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation Ehrharta calycina (Perennial Veldtgrass) National Recovery Plan for the Spiral Sun Orchid Thelymitra matthewsii (Duncan, M, 2010a) [Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation Disa bracteata (African Weed Orchid) National Recovery Plan for the Spiral Sun Orchid Thelymitra matthewsii (Duncan, M, 2010a) [Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation by weeds National Recovery Plan for the Spiral Sun Orchid Thelymitra matthewsii (Duncan, M, 2010a) [Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Grazing, tramping, competition and/or habitat degradation by deer National Recovery Plan for the Spiral Sun Orchid Thelymitra matthewsii (Duncan, M, 2010a) [Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Negative impacts caused by insects National Recovery Plan for the Spiral Sun Orchid Thelymitra matthewsii (Duncan, M, 2010a) [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 National Recovery Plan for the Spiral Sun Orchid Thelymitra matthewsii (Duncan, M, 2010a) [Recovery Plan].
Natural System Modifications:Fire and Fire Suppression:Inappropriate and/or changed fire regimes (frequency, timing, intensity) Thelymitra matthewsii in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006zc) [Internet].
National Recovery Plan for the Spiral Sun Orchid Thelymitra matthewsii (Duncan, M, 2010a) [Recovery Plan].
Species Stresses:Species Stresses:unspecified Thelymitra matthewsii in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006zc) [Internet].

Backhouse, G.N. & J.A. Jeanes (1995). The Orchids of Victoria. Carlton: Miegunyah Press, Melbourne University Press.

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

Bates, R.J. & J.Z. Weber (1990). Orchids of South Australia. Adelaide: Flora and Fauna of South Australia Handbooks Committee.

Bishop, A. (1996). Field Guide to Orchids of New South Wales and Victoria. Sydney, NSW: University of New South Wales Press.

Carr, G.W. (2000). Personal Communication. Melbourne: Vic NRE.

Conn, B.J. (1993). Natural Regions and Vegetation of Victoria. In: Foreman, D.B. and N.G. Walsh, eds. Flora of Victoria: Volume One. Page(s) 79-153. Melbourne: Inkata Press.

Cropper, S.C. (1993). Management of Endangered Plants. East Melbourne, Victoria: CSIRO.

Davies, R.J.P. (1986). Threatened Plant Species of the Mt Lofty Ranges and Kangaroo Island Regions of South Australia. Conservation Council of South Australia.

Davies, R.J.P. (1992). Threatened Plants of the Murray Mallee, Mt Lofty Range and Kangaroo Island Region of South Australia. Conservation Council of South Australia.

Davies, R.J.P. (2000). Personal Communication.

Department of Natural Resources and Environment (DNRE) (2000). VROTPOP database.

Jeanes, J. (2001). Personal communication.

Johns, J. & B. Molloy (1983). Native Orchids of New Zealand. Page(s) 37. A.H. & A.W. Reed Ltd, Wellington.

MEL (undated). National Herbarium of Victoria Specimens. [Online]. Available from: http://www.rbg.vic.gov.au/research_and_conservation/herbarium.

Moore, L.B. & E. Edgar (1970). Flora of New Zealand. In: Flora of New Zealand. 2:126. A.R. Shearer, Government Printer, Wellington.

St George, I., B. Irwin & D. Hatch (1996). Field Guide to the New Zealand Orchids. New Zealand Native Orchid Group, Wellington.

Victorian Workshop Participants (2000). Personal communication.

EPBC Act email updates can be received via the Communities for Communities newsletter and the EPBC Act newsletter.

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). Thelymitra matthewsii in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/sprat. Accessed Sat, 23 Aug 2014 15:41:34 +1000.