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Ophrys perpusilla

O. perpusilla
is a Greek endemic first described from Etolia in 2004 by Devillers-Terschuren and Devillers. Its name is a reference to its small size, a key characteristic when trying to identify this quite rare Ophrys, which is still referred to by many botanists as O. punctulata, though this name is now considered as synonymous with O. leucadica.

Its range is not fully understood but is generally considered to be a central Hellenic strip from the Ionian islands in the west, to the Aegean islands in the east. Its mainland distribution is largely south and east of the Gulf of Corinth, in the Peloponnese and Attica. It should be mentioned that the presence of this species in the eastern Aegean is regarded as questionable by some authorities. O. perpusilla is a morphologically variable Ophrys but its small size is a distinctive feature that precludes confusion with most taxa except the similarly proportioned and relatively common O. cinereophila, with which there is a considerable overlap of range. This resemblance to O. perpusilla gives rise to the probability of misidentification, in turn accounting for some of the uncertainty regarding distribution.

O. cinereophila is most easily distinguished by the strong geniculation of the upper labellum. In O. perpusilla the lip is reflexed but not as strongly and most noticeably in the distal area. Both species have a yellow margin but in the latter this can often be broad, well defined and show little gradation. With age and lip recurvature this marginal band becomes less obvious. The pictures come from the Peloponnese, Cephalonia and Attica, dating from the second week of April, at which time flowering was just getting underway.