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Caladenia caudata


Caladenia caudatatailed spider-orchid

Group:Magnoliophyta (flowering plants), Liliopsida (monocots), Orchidales, Orchidaceae
Status:Threatened Species Protection Act 1995: vulnerable
Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999: Vulnerable
Found only in Tasmania
Click to enlarge
​Caladenia caudata (tailed spider-orchid) is a terrestrial orchid, found mainly in dry heathland and heathy woodland habitats, in lowland areas of northern, eastern and southeastern Tasmania. While over 40 subpopulations have been recorded, the majority have either not been observed for decades or support a low number of individuals. The data suggest that the total population in Tasmania has fewer than 10,000 individuals and is likely to occupy less than 6 square kilometres. Much of the habitat of the species would have been lost through historical clearing and is at continued risk of inadvertent losses as the precise site of many subpopulations is unknown. The species is also cryptic, avoiding detection as it tends to flower and be identifiable infrequently, often only flowering in response to disturbance such as fire. The most important needs of the species are to prevent the destruction and degradation of known and potential habitat, and to promote recruitment through burning and/or slashing habitat.

A complete species management profile is not currently available for this species. Check for further information on this page and any relevant Activity Advice.

Key Points

  • Important: Is this species in your area? Do you need a permit? Ensure you’ve covered all the issues by checking the Planning Ahead page.
  • Important: Different threatened species may have different requirements. For any activity you are considering, read the Activity Advice pages for background information and important advice about managing around the needs of multiple threatened species.


Key Survey reliability more info
M Best time to survey
M Potential time to survey
M Poor time to survey
M Non-survey period

To ensure you follow the law - check whether your survey requires a permit. Always report any new records to the Natural Values Atlas, or send the information direct to the Threatened Species Section. Refer to the Activity Advice: Surveying page for background information.

Caladenia caudata Spring Summer Autumn Winter
tailed spider-orchid S S O O N N D D J J F F M M A A M M J J J J A A

  • Flowers are required for the identification of this ground orchid which dies back to subterranean tubers after flowering. It appears that populations in the south of the State consistently have a peak flowering in late September, while northern populations flower later (October, even early November). This species responds with prolific flowering the first season after a hot fire, diminishing to few or none in subsequent seasons. Despite its size and distinctive appearance, this species can be hard to detect in its often dried-off grassy habitat.
  • The species occurs in heathy and open eucalypt forest and woodland, often with sheoaks, and in heathland on sandy and loamy soils. It is most often found on sunny north-facing sites.

Helping the species

Cutting or clearing trees or vegetation






Changing water flow / quality

Use of chemicals


Further information

​Check also for listing statement or notesheet pdf above (below the species image)​.

​​Cite as: Threatened Species Section (). (): Species Management Profile for Tasmania's Threatened Species Link. ​ ​Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania. Accessed on .

Contact details: Threatened Species Section, Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania​, GPO Box 44, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, 7001. Phone (1300 368 550).

Permit: A permit is required under the Tasmanian Threatened Species Protection Act 1995 to 'take' (which includes kill, injure, catch, damage, destroy and collect), keep, trade in or process any specimen or products of a listed species. Additional permits may also be required under other Acts or regulations to take, disturb or interfere with any form of wildlife or its products, (e.g. dens, nests, bones). This may also depend on the tenure of the land and other agreements relating to its management. ​​​​​