John and Gerry's    Orchids of Britain and Europe
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Ophrys eptapigiensis

O. eptapigiensis was first described from Rhodes by Paulus in 2001 and is a member of the O. fusca group of Ophrys. It was also widely known by the synonym O. cressa but this was erroneous and the latter now refers entirely to the Cretan endemic .

O. eptapigiensis is only known to occur in Rhodes where it is very rare and where at the time of writing there exists considerable expert opinion believing the plants to be occasional occurrences of morphologically atypical O. attaviria. These authorities would point to the fact that they are always found growing in Pinewood clearings in association with O. attaviria and invariably as single plants. In addition, the pollinator of these plants has yet to be identified as different from O. attaviria.

With the aforementioned in mind, the photographs that accompany this page are all from Rhodes and whilst conforming to type description, cannot be guaranteed to represent the species. O. eptapigiensis is a smaller Ophrys than O. attaviria and is also a later flowerer. One of the key characteristics of O. eptapigiensis is the long central groove with conspicuous longitudinal prominences that give the lobe a slightly convex profile.

The speculum is normally fairly drab and the lip bordered with a narrow yellow (sometimes red) margin, although this latter feature can be obscured by the reflexed lip. Another distinguishing aspect of this species is the red brown transverse bar that bisects the rear of the white stigmatic cavity. This is often a complete line but can also be limited to two stripes, one on either side of the chamber.