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Ophrys panattensis

O. panattensis was first described from Nouro, Sardinia by Scrugli, Pessei and Cogoni in 1992 and belongs to the small O. lunulata group of Ophrys. It is named after the village of Panatta in the Province of Nouro and near the site of the plants first discovery.

This species is endemic to Sardinia, more particularly to the calcareous mountains in the central and eastern regions of the island where it is both highly localized and extremely rare. Its range seems to be contracting and can now only reliably be found in the mountains around Dorgali, where it grows either individually or in small, widely spread populations, usually in mid shade. Its preferred habitat is a mossy bank amid damp evergreen oak forest and in these conditions can sometimes form small colonies of mixed flower forms, exhibiting various patterns and colouration. The lip is usually entire but can be three lobed, basal swellings can be absent or well developed and the stigmatic cavity may vary from black to red. There are however features that are reasonably stable, these include the uncomplicated speculum pattern which is normally a simple H but can comprise little more than two unconnected parallel streaks or droplets. Other more reliable distinguishing characteristics include the pink sepals, complete submarginal band of light coloured hair and forward pointing appendage.

O. panattensis can in some of its forms, strongly resemble fellow endemic O. chestermanii, though confusion is unlikely to arise due to their individually restricted and widely separated ranges within the island. O. morisii is another species that can be difficult to separate and is one that often accompanies O. panettensis, particularly in roadside habitats. Both species appear in early April and remain in flower until the middle of May.