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

O. igilia was first described as a full species by Kreutz in 2013 from the small Italian island of Isolo del Giglio that sits off the coast of Monte Argentario, Tuscany. It had originally been recognized in 1900 by Sommier who named it Ophrys exaltata var virescens, this being a reference to its completely green perianth. The specific name igilia, means goat and pertains to the island of Isolo which is also known as Goat Island.

O. igilia is generally described as endemic to Isolo del Giglia but the species has been recorded (albeit rarely) from Monte Argentario on the adjacent mainland. It is immediately recognizable by the green sepals and petals, the latter often being edged with a narrow lilac/pink border.

The labellum is somewhat variable but is normally dark, sometimes blackish, with considerably less of the reddish tones found in its close relative, O. crabronifera. Like its cousin however, the shoulders and lip margins are densely covered with a complete band of dark brown hair. The lip is entire and normally round but can also be reflexed, producing a more elliptical shape.The basal field is rarely defined, being generally concolourous with the rest of the lip. The speculum is much reduced, consisting of two unconnected or bridged, shiny blue droplet or wedge shapes. O. igilia is a plant of alkaline soils preferring a full sun position but often growing in the overgrown habitat so common in this part of Tuscany.

It is an early flowerer and the pictures date from the last week of March. The last four photos depict atypical plants that are almost certainly hybrids, possibly with O. crabronifera.