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 Pterostylis lepida
Recovery Plan Decision Recovery Plan required, this species had a recovery plan in force at the time the legislation provided for the Minister to decide whether or not to have a recovery plan (19/2/2007).
 
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans Recovery Plan for Twelve Threatened Orchids in the Lofty Block Region of South Australia (Quarmby, J.P., 2010) [Recovery Plan] as Pterostylis sp. Halbury (R.Bates 8425).
 
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 Pterostylis sp. Halbury (R.Bates 8425).
 
Amendment to the list of threatened species under section 178, 181 and 183 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth) (160) (Commonwealth of Australia, 2014h) [Legislative Instrument] as Pterostylis lepida.
 
State Government
    Documents and Websites
SA:Lofty Block Threatened Orchid Recovery Project (South Australian Department for Environment and Heritage (SA DEH), 2009) [Internet].
SA:Threatened Flora of South Australia Fact Sheet - Halbury Greenhood Pterostylis sp. 'Halbury'. Endangered (South Australian Department for Environment and Heritage (SA DEH), 2010b) [Information Sheet].
State Listing Status
SA: Listed as Endangered (National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972 (South Australia): June 2011 list) as Pterostylis sp. Halbury (R.Bates 8425)
Scientific name Pterostylis lepida [86227]
Family Orchidaceae:Orchidales:Liliopsida:Magnoliophyta:Plantae
Species author (D.L.Jones) G.N.Backh.
Infraspecies author  
Reference Backhouse, G.N., (2010) New combinations in the terrestrial orchid genera Caladenia R.Br., Corybas Salisb. and Pterostylis R.Br. (Orchidaceae) for south-eastern Australia. The Victorian Naturalist 127(2).: 57 [comb. nov.]
Other names Pterostylis sp. aff. boormanii (Halbury) [75797]
Pterostylis sp. Halbury (R.Bates 8425) [64538]
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

The species has previously been referred to as Pterostylis sp. aff. boormanii, Oligochaetochilus sp. Halbury and Pterostylis sp. Halbury (R.Bates 8425). The species is also known as Oligochaetochilus lepidus (Bates 2011).

The Halbury Greenhood is a terrestrial herbaceous orchid with a slender flowering stem usually growing to 10–20 cm in height and growing wiry with age. The leaves are ovate, flat on the ground, green at flowering, and grow to 5–10 cm in length. Flowers are usually a few to approximately ten, with only one or two being open at a given time. They are greenish or greenish red-brown with paler striations. The galea (hood-shaped part of flower) grows to 1.5 cm in height, with a filiform (thread shaped) upturned point growing up to 1 cm in length. The labellum (lip) is very small (4 mm in length) oblong, thick and channeled with a few long silky setae (hair-like structures) on the margins. Lateral sepals are deflexed (curved downward) and basally broad with filiform apices that are 2 cm in length, divergent and often upturned. However, no two plants are thought to have the same flower morphology and colour (Bates 2011; Bickerton & Robertson 2000).

The Halbury Greenhood is thought to only occur in two small locations in South Australia: in the Halbury Parklands (surrounding the town of Halbury 90 km north of Adelaide) in an area of about 1 km²; and at a site near Moonta (Bates 2000 pers. comm.). These sites are in the Northern Lofty and Yorke Peninsula regions and both occur on council land. The majority of the population is reserved for conservation purposes. With the exception of a few unconfirmed sightings (for example at Roseworthy), no records of the species exist outside these sites. This is not surprising as the district was historically extensively cleared, leaving only small remnants of native vegetation (Bickerton & Robertson 2000; Quarmby 2010).

The Halbury Greenhood mainly occurs at the Halbury Parklands site (subpopulation 1) in two sections, divided by a major road and dismantled railway line. Smaller subpopulations are thought to occur in other sections of the Parklands, and on adjacent private land. The last estimates (in 2006) indicate a total population size of up to 9000 mature plants, 99% of which occur in subpopulation 1. Only two flowering plants were found in the Moonta (subpopulation 2) site in 2000, with the species undetected at the site in subsequent surveys. In 2006, the extent of occurrence of the species was 17 km² with an area of occupancy of only approximately 0.8 ha in total (Bickerton & Robertson 2000; Quarmby 2010).

Vegetation associated with the Halbury Greenhood include mallee form Peppermint Box (Eucalyptus odorata), Southern Cypress Pine (Callitirs preissii) and Sea Box (Alyxia buxifolia). The orchid occurs in open mossy clearings, gaps and pathways between the trees and shrubs. The Parklands themselves are known to contain numerous other orchid species, particularly greenhoods (Bickerton & Robertson 2000).

The surface soil of the Halbury Parklands, home to the majority of the species, is red-orange clay loam, but may be underlain by heavier clay (Bickerton & Robertson 2000).

The Halbury Greenhood flowers earlier than most in its group (Pterostylis rufa). The species produces a leaf rosette in May–June, a flower spike (with multiple buds) in July–October and flowers for a relatively long period between mid-August and early November. Tubers are replaced annually (winter to spring) and the species is dormant over the summer months (December–March) (Bickerton & Robertson 2000; Quarmby 2010).

More generally, the Pterostylis species are usually found growing in association with Ceratasidium cornigerum, a mycorrhiza or soil fungus (Bickerton & Robertson 2000). However, it is also known that Pterostylis species may not be as dependent on mycorrhizae as other orchids as this genus is relatively easy to propagate. In addition, Pterostylis are myophilous and mycetophilous, that is their flowers attract flies and fungus gnats. The attractant is still unknown, but no nectar reward is offered (Bickerton & Robertson 2000).

The lateral sepals of the Halbury Greenhood reflex downwards, leaving the inside of the flower exposed. This allows the pollinator to enter, land on the labellum and be sprung back into the hood of the flower by the irritable labellum. The morphology of the flower means the only manner of escape for the insect is past the column, which holds the pollen (Bickerton & Robertson 2000).

The Halbury Greenhood is related to Boormans Rustyhood (Pterostylis boormanii), but is smaller and more slender, with paler flowers that have much broader sepals, more obvious marginal hairs and that open a month earlier than the Halbury Greenhood (Bates pers. comm. cited in Bickerton & Robertson 2000; Bates 2011).

In addition, the morphologically similar Ruddyhood (Pterostylis pusilla) is distinguishable by its smaller flowers without long filamentous segments (Bates 2011).

Threats

Weed Invasion

The Halbury Greenhood is most notably threatened by the invasion of weeds including Veldt grass (Ehrharta longiflora), Soursobs (Oxalis pes-caprae), and Bridal Creeper (Myrsiphyllum asparagoides) (Jones 2001 pers. comm.). The species of primary concern are Bridal creeper, known to be established throughout the Halbury Parklands habitat of the orchid, and Soursob with a patchy but widespread distribution (Bickerton & Robertson 2000; Quarmby 2010).

The orchid was formerly more widespread within the Halbury Parklands, with a small patch occurring in a youth camp site until the late 1990s (Bates pers. comm. cited in Bickerton & Robertson 2000). The disappearance of the species from this site is thought to be due to the widespread invasion of weeds and introduced grasses (for example Bearded Oat (Avena barbata) and Brome (Bromus sp.)) compared to other areas where the orchid survives (Bickerton & Robertson 2000; Quarmby 2010).

Herbivory

Herbivory by the Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus), kangaroos (Macropodidae sp.) and snails are thought to be another threat to the Halbury Greenhood. Rabbits were known to have caused significant damage before the erection of a Rabbit-proof fence around a large proportion of subpopulation 1 in 2002. However, subpopulation 2 is highly susceptible to grazing by the Rabbit and kangaroos (Bickerton & Robertson 2000; Quarmby 2010).

Loss of Habitat/Habitat Fragmentation

Due to the historical clearing of the species’ habitat, the Halbury Greenhood now has a severely restricted distribution. The major site for the population (subpopulation 1) is made up of two sizable occurrences on two small land parcels that sit less than 1 km apart. Subpopulation 2, however, is isolated from subpopulation 1 and it is unknown whether natural pollination still occurs there. In addition, there is a limited amount of suitable habitat within the orchid’s current range (Bickerton & Robertson 2000; Quarmby 2010).

Human Disturbance

The Halbury Greenhood is threatened by human disturbance due to the close proximity of the Halbury site to a small town and the unrestricted public access afforded to the site. Such disturbance includes trampling, rubbish dumping, dog walking, horse riding and bike riding, amongst other recreational activities undertaken in or near the species’ habitat (Bickerton & Robertson 2000; Quarmby 2010).

The following recovery actions were implemented for the Halbury Greenhood prior to 2007 (Bickerton & Robertson 2000; Quarmby 2010):

  • The Halbury Greenhood was included in the Lofty Block Threatened Orchid Recovery Project (LBTORP) in 1998.
  • The Friends of Halbury Parklands (FHP) was formed in 1999 to assist with the management of Halbury Parklands, including recovery actions for the Halbury Greenhood.
  • Trees for Life (TFL) controlled weeds in Bush for Life sites in Halbury Parklands since 2000.
  • Friends of Halbury Parklands (FHP) controlled weeds throughout Halbury Parklands since 2000.
  • Native Orchid Society of South Australia (NOSSA) controlled weeds in Halbury Parklands (section 706) since 2000.
  • Threatened Plant Action Group (TPAG) established a Bridal Creeper control trial in Halbury Parklands (section 706) in 2005.
  • Rabbit-proof fences were erected around two areas within Halbury Parklands (sections 409 and 706) in 2002. This has assisted in ceasing the ploughing that previously occurred, and decreasing the level of inappropriate recreational use.
  • Rubbish was removed from Halbury Parklands in 2000 by FHP.
  • FHP undertook rabbit baiting in Halbury Parklands in 2005.
  • Seed and mycorrhiza were collected from subpopulation 1 and stored at the Botanic Gardens of Adelaide (BGA).
  • A vegetation management plan was prepared for Halbury Parklands in 2002 (Robertson & Bickerton 2002).
  • Annual monitoring of the Halbury Greenhood has been undertaken for subpopulation 1 since 2000. Grids were established throughout Halbury Parklands (section 409 and 706) to survey numbers and weed densities at the sites. Permanent quadrats were also established in 2004 to monitor Halbury Greenhood demographics.
  • Biannual North Lofty Block Threatened Orchid Recovery Team (NLBTORT) meetings have been held since 2000.
  • A fact sheet was prepared for the species in 2001 (DEH 2001 cited in Quarmby 2010), and has been publicly disseminated.

The overall recovery objective for the Halbury Greenhood in the Recovery Plan For Twelve Threatened Orchids in the Lofty Block Region of South Australia (Quarmby 2010) is to improve the conservation status from Endangered to Vulnerable within 30 years. Specific recovery objectives for the species are as follows:

  1. To increase the extent of occurrence of the species.
  2. To increase the number of extant sub-populations.
  3. To increase the population size of the species.
  4. To increase the area of occupancy of the species.
  5. To maintain or improve the quality of habitat critical to survival.
  6. To safeguard against the risk of sub-population extinctions.
  7. To increase the knowledge of the biology and ecology of the species.
  8. To maintain or increase the level of community participation in the recovery process.

Management documents for the Halbury Greenhood can be found at the start of this profile.

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 Recovery Plan for Pterostylis "Halbury" (Halbury Greenhood) -2000-2004 (Bickerton, D. & M. Robertson, 2000) [State Recovery Plan].
Ecosystem/Community Stresses:Indirect Ecosystem Effects:Restricted geographical distribution (area of occupancy and extent of occurrence) Recovery Plan for Pterostylis "Halbury" (Halbury Greenhood) -2000-2004 (Bickerton, D. & M. Robertson, 2000) [State Recovery Plan].
Human Intrusions and Disturbance:Human Intrusions and Disturbance:Human induced disturbance due to unspecified activities Recovery Plan for Pterostylis "Halbury" (Halbury Greenhood) -2000-2004 (Bickerton, D. & M. Robertson, 2000) [State Recovery Plan].
Human Intrusions and Disturbance:Human Intrusions and Disturbance:Mechanical disturbance during construction, maintanance or recreational activities Recovery Plan for Pterostylis "Halbury" (Halbury Greenhood) -2000-2004 (Bickerton, D. & M. Robertson, 2000) [State Recovery Plan].
Human Intrusions and Disturbance:Recreational Activities:Disturbance, especially from human recreational activities and development Recovery Plan for Pterostylis "Halbury" (Halbury Greenhood) -2000-2004 (Bickerton, D. & M. Robertson, 2000) [State Recovery Plan].
Human Intrusions and Disturbance:Recreational Activities:Habitat degradation associated with recreational activities such as horse riding Recovery Plan for Twelve Threatened Orchids in the Lofty Block Region of South Australia (Quarmby, J.P., 2010) [Recovery Plan].
Human Intrusions and Disturbance:Recreational Activities:Habitat disturbance from recreational vehicle use Recovery Plan for Twelve Threatened Orchids in the Lofty Block Region of South Australia (Quarmby, J.P., 2010) [Recovery Plan].
Human Intrusions and Disturbance:Recreational Activities:Soil disturbance and/or trampling due to bushwalking Recovery Plan for Twelve Threatened Orchids in the Lofty Block Region of South Australia (Quarmby, J.P., 2010) [Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation Oryctolagus cuniculus (Rabbit, European Rabbit) Recovery Plan for Pterostylis "Halbury" (Halbury Greenhood) -2000-2004 (Bickerton, D. & M. Robertson, 2000) [State Recovery Plan].
Pterostylis sp. Halbury (R.Bates 8425) in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006tl) [Internet].
Recovery Plan for Twelve Threatened Orchids in the Lofty Block Region of South Australia (Quarmby, J.P., 2010) [Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation Oxalis pes-caprae (Soursob, Bermuda Buttercup, Buttercup Oxalis, Cape Cowslip, Geelsuring, Oxalis, Sorrel, Sourgrass, Yellow-Flowered Oxalis, Yellow Sorrel) Recovery Plan for Pterostylis "Halbury" (Halbury Greenhood) -2000-2004 (Bickerton, D. & M. Robertson, 2000) [State Recovery Plan].
Recovery Plan for Twelve Threatened Orchids in the Lofty Block Region of South Australia (Quarmby, J.P., 2010) [Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation Asparagus asparagoides (Bridal Creeper, Bridal Veil Creeper, Smilax, Florist's Smilax, Smilax Asparagus) Recovery Plan for Pterostylis "Halbury" (Halbury Greenhood) -2000-2004 (Bickerton, D. & M. Robertson, 2000) [State Recovery Plan].
Recovery Plan for Twelve Threatened Orchids in the Lofty Block Region of South Australia (Quarmby, J.P., 2010) [Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation by weeds Recovery Plan for Twelve Threatened Orchids in the Lofty Block Region of South Australia (Quarmby, J.P., 2010) [Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation caused by exotic pasture species Recovery Plan for Twelve Threatened Orchids in the Lofty Block Region of South Australia (Quarmby, J.P., 2010) [Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:unspecified Recovery Plan for Pterostylis "Halbury" (Halbury Greenhood) -2000-2004 (Bickerton, D. & M. Robertson, 2000) [State Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Problematic Native Species:Competition, predation and/or habitat degradation by insects Recovery Plan for Pterostylis "Halbury" (Halbury Greenhood) -2000-2004 (Bickerton, D. & M. Robertson, 2000) [State Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Problematic Native Species:Competition, predation and/or habitat degradation by kangaroos and wallabies Recovery Plan for Twelve Threatened Orchids in the Lofty Block Region of South Australia (Quarmby, J.P., 2010) [Recovery Plan].
Pollution:Garbage and Solid Waste:Dumping of household and industrial waste Recovery Plan for Pterostylis "Halbury" (Halbury Greenhood) -2000-2004 (Bickerton, D. & M. Robertson, 2000) [State Recovery Plan].
Species Stresses:Indirect Species Effects:Low genetic diversity and genetic inbreeding Recovery Plan for Twelve Threatened Orchids in the Lofty Block Region of South Australia (Quarmby, J.P., 2010) [Recovery Plan].
Species Stresses:Indirect Species Effects:Low numbers of individuals Recovery Plan for Pterostylis "Halbury" (Halbury Greenhood) -2000-2004 (Bickerton, D. & M. Robertson, 2000) [State Recovery Plan].

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

Bickerton, D. & M. Robertson (2000). Recovery Plan for Pterostylis "Halbury" (Halbury Greenhood) -2000-2004. [Online]. Threatened Plant Action Group. National Parks & Wildlife, SA. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/archive/biodiversity/threatened/publications/recovery/p-halbury/index.html.

Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH) (2006tl). Pterostylis sp. Halbury (R.Bates 8425) in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database. [Online]. Unpublished species profile. Canberra, ACT: DEH. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/cgi-bin/sprat/public/publicspecies.pl?taxon_id=64538.

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

NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service (NSW NPWS) (2000). Personal communication. Sydney: NSW NPWS.

Quarmby, J.P. (2010). Recovery Plan for Twelve Threatened Orchids in the Lofty Block Region of South Australia. [Online]. Adelaide, South Australia: Department of Environment and Natural Resources. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/recovery/lofty-block-orchids.html.

South Australian Department for Environment and Heritage (SA DEH) (2009). Lofty Block Threatened Orchid Recovery Project. [Online]. Available from: http://www.environment.sa.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened-species/lbtorp.html.

South Australian Department for Environment and Heritage (SA DEH) (2010b). Threatened Flora of South Australia Fact Sheet - Halbury Greenhood Pterostylis sp. 'Halbury'. Endangered. [Online]. Available from: http://www.environment.sa.gov.au/biodiversity/pdfs/halbury_ghood.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 lepida in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/sprat. Accessed Wed, 27 Aug 2014 21:20:58 +1000.