Acianthus pusillus D.L.Jones

Small Mosquito Orchid

New Taxa Austral. Orchid. (Austral. Orchid Res. 2) 7 (1991) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Flowering plant 4–18 cm tall. Leaf cordate, thin, 15–30 mm long, 12–25 mm wide, green above, reddish-purple (rarely greenish) beneath, entire or sometimes shallowly lobed. Flowers 1–18, translucent green or pinkish with reddish veins and spots, labellum green to reddish-purple; pedicel (including ovary) 4–6 mm long, subtended by small bract; dorsal sepal hooded, linear-obovate, 5–8 mm long, apical point c. 1–2 mm long; lateral sepals projected obliquely forwards, parallel, crossed or divergent, linear to linear-oblanceolate with fine point, similar in length to dorsal sepal; petals spreading or reflexed, linear-ovate to ovate, c. 3 mm long. Labellum on short claw, slightly decurved distally, oblong-ovate to ovate-lanceolate, 3–5 mm long, 2–3 mm wide; base of lamina broadly wedge-shaped or squarish with rounded corners, margins revolute, entire, apex with short point; callus thick, fleshy, smooth or slightly papillose towards the apex. Column incurved, almost terete, not winged. Flowers Apr.–Aug.

CVU, DunT, EGL, EGU, GipP, Glep, Gold, GGr, HNF, HSF, NIS, OtP, Strz, VVP, WaP, Wim. Also SA, Qld, NSW, Tas. Widespread, but mainly in the southern part of the State, from coastal scrub to inland woodland and forests.

Differs from the less common A. exsertus in being not as robust, with a more slender inflorescence bearing smaller, dull-coloured flowers. The labellum of A. pusillus is always shorter than that of A. exsertus, and is less truncate at the base.

Source: Entwisle, T.J. (1994). Orchidaceae. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 2, Ferns and Allied Plants, Conifers and Monocotyledons. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Updated by: Jeff Jeanes, 2014-11-20
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Lilianae
order Asparagales
family Orchidaceae
genus Acianthus
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Acianthus pusillus in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Acianthus pusillus in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Wimmera present native
Glenelg Plain present native
Victorian Volcanic Plain present native
Gippsland Plain present native
Otway Plain present native
Warrnambool Plain present native
Goldfields present native
Central Victorian Uplands present native
Greater Grampians present native
Dundas Tablelands present native
Northern Inland Slopes present native
East Gippsland Lowlands present native
East Gippsland Uplands present native
Highlands-Southern Fall present native
Highlands-Northern Fall present native
Strzelecki Ranges present native

State distribution

Distribution map
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory