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
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 Listing Status
QLD: Listed as Extinct in the Wild (Nature Conservation Act 1992 (Queensland): May 2014 list)
Scientific name Oberonia attenuata [5388]
Family Orchidaceae:Orchidales:Liliopsida:Magnoliophyta:Plantae
Species author Dockr.
Infraspecies author  
Reference The North Queensland Naturalist 29(126) (22 Dec. 1960) 4, & fig.
Distribution map Species Distribution Map not available for this taxon.
Illustrations Google Images

Scientific name: Oberonia attenuata

Oberonia attenuata was a rare tropical epiphyte (growing on another living plant). It hung loosely off the trunks and branches of trees and grew in small tufts. The species had very short stems which bore four to seven leaves.The narrow, dark green leaves (2–15 cm long) were laterally flattened, overlapping each other at their bases and tapered to a long sharp point. The flower-heads arose from the top of the stems and were about the same length as the longest leaves (up to 15 cm long). They bore numerous minute flowers (1–2 mm in diameter) which were reddish-brown in colour. The sepals were boat-shaped but the petals were almost thread-fine. The labellum (lip of the petal) possessed three lobes, each lobe generally deeply divided into two parts, although occasionally the side lobes were divided into three parts or not divided at all. The stigma was kidney-shaped and the anther (pollen producing part of plant) was white. The pollen grains were translucent-white (Dockrill 1992).

Oberonia attenuata was readily distinguished from the other Australian Oberonia species by its pendulous habit of growth, much darker green, longer and narrower leaves, and labellum which had three lobes (Dockrill 1960).

Oberonia attenuata occurred from the Johnstone River to the Bloomfield River in south-eastern Cape York Peninsula, Queensland. The type specimen was collected from Mossman River in 1960 (Clements 1989; Dockrill 1992).

Oberonia attenuata was similar to a number of species found in New Guinea, so it may also occur in that country (Clements 1989).

Oberonia attenuata grew on trees in lowland rainforests, particularly those in gorges or near watercourses (Dockrill 1992).

Oberonia attenuata flowered between May and September (Dockrill 1992).

The reasons for the decline and extinction of Oberonia attenuata 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 Oberonia attenuata in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006rp) [Internet].

Clements, M.A. (1989). Catalogue of Australian Orchidaceae. In: Australian Orchid Research. 1. Essendon, Victoria: Australian Orchid Foundation.

Dockrill, A.W. (1960). A new species of Oberonia (Orchidaceae) from North Queensland. The North Queensland Naturalist. 29(126):4.

Dockrill, A.W. (1992). Australian indigenous orchids, revised edition. Sydney, SGAP, NSW Region.

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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). Oberonia attenuata in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: Accessed Thu, 18 Sep 2014 23:41:50 +1000.