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Ophrys phaseliana

O. phaseliana was first described by Ruckbrodt and Ruckbrodt in 1996 and is a member of the O. attaviria group of Ophrys. Its name refers to the village of Phaselis in Anatolia from where the plant was discovered.

This species together with O. parosica and the more recently described O. pelinaea have been  presenting taxonomic challenges for some time now, most particularly in terms of possible conspecificity and also their very presence or otherwise in the eastern Aegean. In his 2006 book, Delforge described both O. parosica and O. phaseliana as separate species whilst acknowledging the possibility of conspecificity. His opinion has now moved to a reduction of O, phaseliana's status to one of a varietal position as O. parosica v phaseliana. He similarly reclassifies O. parosica as O. parosica v parosica but maintains his view that they occur in the eastern Aegean.

More recent research by Paulus and Hirth (2015) does not accord with this opinion and suggests reclassification of all the above species (together with O. meropes and O. theophrasti) from the eastern Aegean as O. pelinaea. O. parosica is restricted to the Cyclades and O. phaseliana to south west Turkey.

The illustrations are all from Chios (eastern Aegean) and depict plants with the typical marbling and pronounced elliptical shape that were considered at the time to be O. phaseliana. In the light of recent studies this page is likely to need amendment but until definitive clarification is avaliable, it is left in place.