John and Gerry's    Orchids of Britain and Europe
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Ophrys calypsus v pseudoapulica

Until 1994, O. calypsus was considered simply a variety of O. heldreichii  but since that time has been given full species status and maintains three named varieties, maxima, scolopaxoides and the taxon featured here, pseudoapulica. This position has recently changed again with maxima (which was always something of a "catch all" taxon) being redistributed into other classifications,  principally O. colossaea.

O. calypsus v pseudoapulica was (at the time of writing) still a recognized variety having first received a formal description in 1995 by Delforge. Its distribution is primarily the Cyclades and Rhodes which therefore brings it into contact with both the type species and variety scolopaxoides. Hybridization with these (and indeed other species) have created  many intermediate populations which serve to make firm identification difficult in many areas.

The most important single feature that distinguishes pseudoapulica is the way in which the lip margins  initially recurve tightly behind the main body of the lip and then reflex out and forward so that they are  visible (sometimes only narrowly) from a face on view. In scolopaxoides there is significant recurvature  but no reflexation and the lip margins simply form a tight pleat at the back of the body.  O. calypsus itself is  similar to scolopaxoides  but the lip has a lower waistline and looks much less scolopaxoid. As mentioned earlier however, finding pure populations can often be difficult and the balance of probabilities often plays a significant part in identification.

The photos all come from Rhodes and picture 9 illustrates an unusual hypochromatic hybrid with an unknown species from the sphegodes group.