These small orchids resemble flying ducks, hence the common name and due to their small size (1-2cm) and drab colour, are generally difficult to locate. As a group, they are relatively common throughout the lower south west and out toward the western wheatbelt. They prefer the same conditions as the hammer orchids, in sandy clearings, and are often found growing together with hammer orchid species.
Paracaleana nigrita - Flying Duck Orchid
The Flying Duck Orchid is distinguished from other Duck Orchids by the calli, which cover more than half of the length of the narrow labellum.The labellum also is distinctly humped about halfway along its length.
Paracaleana hortiorum - Hort's Duck Orchid
The Hort's Duck Orchid is very similar to the 'normal' Flying Duck Orchid (P. nigrita) and is distinguished by the labellum, which is not humped in the middle. It also has less calli, which extends only a small length along the labellum.
Paracaleana triens - Broad-billed Duck Orchid
The Broad-billed Duck Orchid is distinguished by by its labellum. It is broader than the Flying Duck Orchid and the calli cover about one third of its length. The plants are also generally smaller than those of the Flying Duck Orchid.
Paracaleana terminalis - Smooth-billed Duck Orchid
Paracaleana alcockii - Alcock's Duck orchid
The Smooth-billed Duck Orchid is similar to the Broad-billed Duck Orchid in that it only has calli on the very tip of the labellum. The labellum, however, is a lot narrower. The orchid is found from Geraldton to north of Kalbarri. Alcock's Duck orchid is similar to the Smooth-billed Duck Orchid but differs in having larger flowers and calli along a greater length of the labellum. It is found in a small area near Kalbarri where it can be found growing with the Smooth-billed Duck Orchid.
Paracaleana lyonsii - Midget Duck Orchid
While all the other duck orchids in the South West have one or two flowers per stem, the Midget Duck Orchid has up to 10 flowers per stem. It also has a much longer leaf, which can reach 8cm long. The plants and flowers are about half the size of the duck orchids, hence the common name. It is found growing in yellow sandplain habitats between the Kalbarri area and the Southern Cross area.
Paracaleana gracilicordata - Slender-leafed Duck Orchid
Paracaleana granitica - Granite Duck Orchid
These two duck orchids are very similar. They are both found on granite outcrops and both flower late in the season (October to November). The Slender-leafed Duck Orchid is distinguished by its longish, narrow leaf and the labellum, which has calli along one third of its length and is held up above the horizontal. The Granite Duck Orchid has larger flowers and the labellum is generally held below the horizontal.
Paracaleana brockmanii - Brockman's Duck Orchid
This orchid is distinguished mainly by its late flowering season (Nov-early Jan). It is similar to the Broad-billed Duck Orchid with its broad labellum with calli covering about one third of its length. it is found between Perth and Albany. Near Perth, it is found in sandy ironstone habitats, while further south it is found in deep sandy habitats near creeks and winter wet areas.