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

O. aegirtica was first described by Delforge from Gers (France) in 1996 and its name refers to the species connection with this area, literally meaning "from Gers".  It is however more commonly now referred to as O. truncata with O. aegeritica as a secondary synonym. This is an uncommon member of the O. tetraloniae group which takes its name from the Tetralonia  genus of bees, these being the most significant pollinators of this grouping of Ophrys.  

The species is endemic to France and its base is in the south of that country where it's perhaps at its most frequent in the lower basin of the Rhone, namely the area between Var and Tarn. It should be stressed however that it is not a common orchid in any part of its limited range. Two important features common o the  O. tetraloniae group generally serve to help with identification ;- 1.  The tendency to be wholly or partially scolopaxoid and 2. for the submarginal  band of lip hair to be broader and more complete than in other similar species.               

As can be seen from  the pictures O. aegiritica  presents a rectangular appearance and although sepals are quoted by some, as being predominantly dark purple, the paler colours are in our opinion really quite common. The dorsal sepal is often bent backwards and the petals are shorter and more triangular than similar group members. Importantly the basal field and stigmatic cavity are a lighter colour and more obviously red than is usually found in other related species such as O. druentica  and O. linearis.

O. aegirtica
is a late flowerer and these pictures all date from the first week of June