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 Not listed under EPBC Act
Listing and Conservation Advices Commonwealth Listing Advice on Pterostylis atriola (Snug Greenhood) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2013er) [Listing Advice].
Recovery Plan Decision Recovery Plan not required, species delisted from the EPBC Act (14/12/2013).
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans
Other EPBC Act Plans Flora Recovery Plan: Tasmanian Threatened Orchids 2006-2010 (Threatened Species Section (TSS), 2006a) [Recovery Plan].
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].
Amendment to the list of threatened species under section 178 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (150) (Commonwealth of Australia, 2013ac) [Legislative Instrument].
State Government
    Documents and Websites
TAS:Threatened Species Listing Statement-Snug greenhood Pterostylis atriola D. L. Jones 1998 (Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (Tas. DPIPWE), 2000i) [Information Sheet].
TAS:Pterostylis atriola (Snug Greenhood): Species Management Profile for Tasmania's Threatened Species Link (Threatened Species Section (TSS), 2014la) [State Action Plan].
TAS:Flowering Times of Tasmanian Orchids: A Practical Guide for Field Botanists (Wapstra, M., N. Roberts, H. Wapstra & A. Wapstra, 2008) [Information Sheet].
State Listing Status
TAS: Listed as Rare (Threatened Species Protection Act 1995 (Tasmania): Rare species: September 2012 list)
Scientific name Pterostylis atriola [64964]
Family Orchidaceae:Orchidales:Liliopsida:Magnoliophyta:Plantae
Species author D.L. Jones
Infraspecies author  
Reference Jones, D.L. (1998) A taxonomic review of Pterostylis R.Br. in Tasmania. Australian Orchid Research 3: 140-141, Fig. 7.3 [tax. nov.]
Distribution map Species Distribution Map not available for this taxon.
Illustrations Google Images

The Snug Greenhood is a deciduous terrestrial orchid with annually replaced fleshy tubers and grows to approximately 20–35 cm in height when in flower. The species has a prominant green hood-like structure created by the dorsal sepal and petals of the flower. The hood is 1.2–1.5 cm in length and 0.6–0.7 cm in width with an opening obscured by a curved brown tip. When touched, the labellum flips inward (towards the column) and traps insects inside the flower. This is believed to be a pollinating mechanism, covering the insect as it struggles to free itself (Jones 1998d; Jones 2001 pers. comm.; Jones et al. 1999; Tas. DPIPWE 2000i).

The Snug Greenhood has one or two leaf rosettes which develop, at some stage of its life cycle, from side growths at the base of the flower stem. Three to six of these rosette leaves are stalked and oval in shape, dark green, growing 0.6–2.1 cm in length and 0.4–0.9 cm in width. The species flowers from late January to March, with 1–10 inward facing flowers that are rough to the touch, dark green and white and are boldly striped. The lateral sepals embrace the hood, leaving an opening of only about 0.1 cm. The flowers appear to be self pollinating (Jones 1998d; Jones 2001 pers. comm.; Jones et al. 1999; Tas. DPIPWE 2000i).

The Snug Greenhood is endemic to Tasmania, where it is known from widely separated localities; near coastal lowland and hinterland in the north and east to 600 m above sea level in the south-east. The linear range of the species is thought to be approximately 300 km, but the exact distribution is uncertain due to confusion with related taxa (Jones 1998d; Jones 2001 pers. comm.; Jones et al. 1999; TSS 2010).

The extent of occurrence of the Snug Greenwood is approximately 31 500 km² (TSS 2010).

The following is a table summarising the subpopulations of Snug Greenwood, including estimates of sizes and number of plants. Due to insufficient surveying, it is likely that there are more subpopulations and larger areas of occupancy than listed below. Numbers of plants at any one subpopulation are likely to fluctuate annually due to seasonal conditions, however extreme fluctuations are unlikely (TSS 2010).

  Subpopulation Tenure Natural Resource Management Region Years Found Area of Occupancy (ha) Number of Plants
1   Mount Montgomery   Mount Montgomery State Reserve   Cradle Coast   2009 0.03 18
2004 0.05 Small colony
2   Railton   State forest   Cradle Coast   2008 0.11   82 counted  
3 Ridge between Douglas River and Mayson River Douglas-Apsley National Park (NP) North 1993 0.05 Small colony
4 Thompsons Marshes Douglas-Apsley NP North 1992 0.05 Small colony
5 Holwell Gorge Holwell Gorge State Reserve (SR) North 1997 0.05 Small colony
6 Golconda Unknown North 1997 0.25 Small colony
7 Wyniford River State forest North 2001 0.005 3
8 Lanka Road State forest North 2008 0.0001 1
9 Williams Hill near Pearly Brook State forest North 2006 Unknown Unknown
10     Snug Tiers     Snug Tiers Nature Recreation Area     South     2009 10+ 1000
2006 2 47
1997 5 80–100
11 Blowhole Valley on South Coast walking track Southwest NP South 1992 0.001 3 (not seen since despite searches)
12 Wielangta Hill State forest South 2008 2 sites (300 m apart) Unknown
13   Back Run Hills   State forest   South   2006 2 sites 21
2002 7 sites over 53 ha 52
14a Bluff River near Tin Pot Creek State forest (Buckland Military Training Area) South 2009 Unknown 42
14b Bluff River near Sugarloaf Creek State forest South 2009 Unknown 10
15   Lake Leake area   Wye River SR  South   2008 About 1   20–30  

The Snug Greenhood is well-represented in reserves; including the Snug Tiers Nature Recreation Area, the Holwell Gorge SR the Southwest NP, the Douglas-Apsley NP, the Mount Montgomery SR and the Wye River SR (TSS 2010).

The Snug Greenhood grows on a variety of substrates (including Jurassic dolerite and Devonian granodiorite) and aspects (including exposed ridges, slopes, hollows, gorges and rock plates). The species is known to persist in open eucalypt forest such as the shrubby Messmate Stringybark (Eucalyptus obliqua) forest or heathy forests of Black Peppermint (Eucalyptus amygdalina). The species has been recorded from relatively cold habitats with altitudes of approximately 100–600 m above sea level (Jones 1998d; Jones et al. 1999; TSS 2010).

The flowering period for the Snug Greenhood is January to March, peaking in February. However, the species may not flower every year. The species is thought to be self-pollinating, due to the friable nature of the pollen and basal sitting of the stigma (TSS 2010). The Snug Greenhood reproduces solely from seed and in association with mycorrhizal fungi (Jones 2001 pers. comm.; TSS 2010). The species is known to persist both in areas of disturbance (such as near poorly-maintained 4WD tracks, burnt forest and trails) and in areas of non-disturbed habitat (such as near unburnt shrubby forest). Some level of disturbance is thought to be required for persistence (TSS 2010).

The Snug Greenhood can only be identified from fresh or fertilised flowers and may flower as late as May at some sites (TSS 2010).

The Snug Greenhood is part of a complex of four closely related species with similar features. The following is a table that describes how to differentiate the Snug Greenhood from the other species (Tas. DPIPWE 2000i).

Species How the Snug Greenhood differs from the species 
Leafless Greenhood (Pterostylis aphylla) The Snug Greenhood is taller, and more wiry, as opposed to the fleshy, flowering stems and a narrower opening to the Leafless Greenhood flower.
 Baby Greenhood (Pterostylis parviflora) The Snug Greenhood's hood tip is rough to touch and consistently brown, and the flowering stem is generally taller than that of the the Baby Greenhood. In addition, the opening of the flower of the Snug Greenhood is wider and the tip of the labellum can be seen through the opening.
 Marsh Greenhood (Pterostylis uliginosa) The Snug Greenhood is taller and more wiry, as opposed to the fleshy, flowering stems of the Marsh Greenhood. Also, the flowers of the Snug Greenhood are rough to touch at the tip and with a narrower opening to the flower. The flowers of the Marsh Greenhood, however, are smaller and shiny green without brown tips.

The Snug Greenhood was included in the Flora Recovery Plan: Tasmanian Threatened Orchids 2006-2010 (TSS 2006a). Actions required for the recovery of the Snug Greenhood (TSS 2010; Tas. DPIPWE 2000i):

  • pursue management options with landowners/managers to protect populations of the Snug Greenhood against possible changes in land use that would be detrimental to the species
  • active management to increase numbers at sites, once triggers have been determined
  • monitor known populations for threats and declines
  • establish a mechanism to ensure management intervention when required (DPIW 2006j).

Information needed for the recovery of the Snug Greenhood (TSS 2010; Tas. DPIPWE 2000i):

  • investigate possible threats to the species
  • determine the full extent and condition of known subpopulations to inform the development of an appropriate management strategy for each site
  • undertake demographic monitoring of the species at selected subpopulations, especially before and after burns and other disturbance events therefore investigating the species’ requirement for disturbance
  • continue monitoring the response of the species to a selective harvesting event in the State forest coupe near Railton.

Management Advice needed for the recovery of the Snug Greenhood (TSS 2010; Tas. DPIPWE 2000i):

  • support the Private Land Conservation Program (DPIPWE) with the establishment of conservation covenants for private land supporting the Snug Greenhood, and ensure that current priorities for the species are incorporated into the program’s reservation strategies
  • provide information and extension support to relevant Natural Resource Management committees, local councils, government agencies, the local community and development proponents on the locality, significance and management of known subpopulations and potential habitat
  • if you own land on which the Snug Greenhood grows, consider some form of long-term protection, e.g. private nature reserve, management agreement, covenant, etc.
  • search for new populations from late January to March when the plants are in flower.

Two populations of the species occur in the Douglas-Apsley NP for which a management plan has been prepared (Parks and Wildlife Service 1993). The plan was prepared prior to the identification of the species and will need to address the requirements of the Snug Greenhood when next updated. Finally, a proposed forestry coupe on State Forest in the Railton area was subject to a formal survey for the presence of the orchid and long-term monitoring plots were established to monitor the response of the species to selective harvesting (TSS 2010; Tas. DPIPWE 2000i).

Management documents for the Snug Greenhood include:

  • Flora Recovery Plan: Tasmanian Threatened Orchids 2006-2010 (TSS 2006a).
  • Threatened Species Listing Statement-Snug Greenhood Pterostylis atriola (TSU 2000).
  • Douglas-Apsley National Park Management Plan (Parks and Wildlife Service 1993).

No threats data available.

Jones, D.L. (1998d). Contributions to Tasmanian Orchidology 1-9. Australian Orchid Research. 3. Essendon, Victoria: Australian Orchid Foundation.

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

Jones, D.L., H. Wapstra, P. Tonelli & S. Harris (1999). The Orchids of Tasmania. Carlton South, Victoria: Melbourne University Press.

Parks and Wildlife Service (1993). Douglas - Apsley National Park Management Plan. [Online]. Department of Environment and Land Management. Available from:

Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (Tas. DPIPWE) (2000i). Threatened Species Listing Statement-Snug greenhood Pterostylis atriola D. L. Jones 1998. [Online]. Available from:$FILE/Pterostylis%20atriola%20listing%20statement.pdf.

Threatened Species Section (TSS) (2006a). Flora Recovery Plan: Tasmanian Threatened Orchids 2006-2010. [Online]. Hobart, Tasmania: DPIWE. Available from:

Threatened Species Section (TSS) (2010). Threatened Species Listing Statement-Snug greenhood Pterostylis atriola 1998. [Online]. Available from:$FILE/Pterostylis%20atriola%20listing%20statement.pdf.

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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). Pterostylis atriola in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: Accessed Sun, 21 Sep 2014 04:10:48 +1000.