Australian Orchid Foundation


Project: 345/2022

Title: Conserving and monitoring the Ovate Spider Orchid (Caladenia ovata) on Kangaroo Island
Applicant: Dr Richard Glatz
Institution: D’Estrees Entomology and Scientific Services, P.O. Box 16, Kingscote SA


We are small team looking at the rare Spider-orchid species, Caladenia ovata, or the Ovate-lipped Spider-orchid, on Kangaroo Island. This is a range-restricted species, with little known about its ecology or true population size. 

Through our project we hope to get a better idea of the true population size of the species. We are using a quadrat-based methodology to examine multi-seasonal emergence, as well as identification of individuals at point of flowering. We are also using the cohort of plants within the quadrats to assess other variables such as herbivory, predation rates, natural pollination rates and successful seed set.

Another key aim of our project is to identify the unknown pollinator of this species.

We are using our Australian Orchid Foundation grant to establish our transect assets, institute the baseline work and assist with our pollinator baiting program. If we can successfully capture the unknown pollinator of C. ovata using the flower-baiting methodology, this may reveal information about the unusual flowering habitus of this species. 

There is scope to expand the work in future years, following the large cohort of plants within the transects to the point of flowering, allowing for specific identification and an appreciation of year on year dormancy rates.