Nature conservation

Threatened species

Thick Lip Spider Orchid - profile

Indicative distribution

   Loading map...
The areas shown in pink and/purple are the sub-regions where the species or community is known or predicted to occur. They may not occur thoughout the sub-region but may be restricted to certain areas. ( click here to see geographic restrictions). The information presented in this map is only indicative and may contain errors and omissions.
Scientific name: Caladenia tessellata
Conservation status in NSW: Endangered
Commonwealth status: Vulnerable
Gazetted date: 13 Dec 2002
Profile last updated: 16 Aug 2018


The Thick Lip Spider Orchid is from a group of orchids characterised by five long spreading petals and sepals around a broad down-curled labellum (‘lip’). It has cream-coloured petals with reddish stripes, and the yellowish labellum is broad with a few darker stripes. The long, sparsely-hairy, narrow leaf is about 6 cm long and 5 mm wide. Column base with two prominent yellow glands.


The Thick Lip Spider Orchid is known from the Sydney area (old records), Wyong, Ulladulla and Braidwood in NSW. Populations in Kiama and Queanbeyan are presumed extinct. It was also recorded in the Huskisson area in the 1930s. The species occurs on the coast in Victoria from east of Melbourne to almost the NSW border.

Habitat and ecology

  • Generally found in grassy sclerophyll woodland on clay loam or sandy soils, though the population near Braidwood is in low woodland with stony soil.
  • The single leaf regrows each year.
  • Flowers appear between September and November (but apparently generally late September or early October in extant southern populations).

Regional distribution and habitat

Click on a region below to view detailed distribution, habitat and vegetation information.


Recovery strategies

Activities to assist this species

Information sources

IBRA Bioregion IBRA Subregion Known or predicted Geographic restrictions region
Other StateJervis Bay Territory Predicted None
South East CornerBateman Predicted None
South East CornerEast Gippsland Lowlands Known None
South East CornerSouth East Coastal Ranges Predicted None
South Eastern HighlandsBungonia Known None
South Eastern HighlandsMonaro Predicted None
Sydney BasinCumberland Known None
Sydney BasinJervis Known None
Sydney BasinPittwater Known None
Sydney BasinSydney Cataract Known None
Sydney BasinWyong Known None