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Highland golden moths
Diuris monticola.jpg
Diuris monticola in Namadgi National Park
Scientific classification

Diuris monticola, commonly known as highland golden moths, is a species of orchid that is endemic to south-eastern Australia. It is a common and widespread, late flowering species growing in grassland and woodland habitats at higher altitudes. It has a tuft of up to nine leaves at the base and up to four slightly drooping bright yellow flowers with dark streaks in the centre.


Diuris monticola is a tuberous, perennial herb with between five and nine narrow linear leaves 50–200 mm (2–8 in) long and 3–4 mm (0.1–0.2 in) wide in a loose tuft. Up to four slightly drooping bright yellow flowers with dark streaks in the centre and 15–28 mm (0.6–1 in) wide are borne on a flowering stem 150–350 mm (6–10 in) tall. The dorsal sepal leans forward and is egg-shaped, 9–12 mm (0.4–0.5 in) long and 7–9 mm (0.3–0.4 in) wide. The lateral sepals are lance-shaped to egg-shaped, the narrower end towards the base, 15–25 mm (0.6–1 in) long, 2.5–4.5 mm (0.1–0.2 in) wide, lean downwards and parallel to each other. The petals are egg-shaped, 7–13 mm (0.3–0.5 in) long, 4–9 mm (0.2–0.4 in) wide and spread apart from each other on a blackish stalk 3–5.5 mm (0.1–0.2 in) long. The labellum is 12–17 mm (0.5–0.7 in) long and has three lobes. The centre lobe is egg-shaped, 7–13 mm (0.3–0.5 in) long and 6–12 mm (0.2–0.5 in) wide and the side lobes are linear to narrowly wedge-shaped, 2–3.5 mm (0.08–0.1 in) long and 1–2 mm (0.04–0.08 in) wide with irregular edges. There are two pimply, darker yellow callus ridges in the lower part of the mid-line of the labellum. Flowering occurs from November to January.

Taxonomy and naming

Diuris monticola was first formally described in 1998 by David Jones from a specimen collected near Tantangara Dam and the description was published in Australian Orchid Research. Jones derived the specific epithet (monticola) from the Latin mons meaning "mountain" and -cola meaning "dweller", referring to the montane habitat of this species.

Distribution and habitat

Highland golden moths is widespread and common in montane grassland, and snowgum woodland in the higher parts of southern New South Wales, Tasmania, the Australian Capital Territory and north-eastern Victoria.

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