John and Gerry's    Orchids of Britain and Europe
Home Back to Ophrys species Links

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, 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. In 2006 Delforge described both O. parosica and O. phaseliana as separate species probably present in the eastern Aegean but acknowledging the possibility that they were conspecific. His opinion then moved to a reduction of O. phaseliana's status to one of a variety as O. parosica v phaseliana. He similarly reclassified O. parosica as O. parosica v parosica but maintained his view that they occur in the eastern Aegean. More recent research by Paulus and Hirth (2015) established that the above taxa (together with O. meropes and O. theophrasti) share the same pollinator as O. pelinaea and that despite huge morphological variation they were all the same species. It was further confirmed that O. parosica is restricted to the Cyclades and O. phaseliana to south west Turkey.

The illustrations are all from Chios and depict plants with the typical strongly recurved distal area of the lip and closed sinuses that were once considered to be O. phaseliana but which are now O. pelinaea in the form described in the 2015 study as phaselianoid. This page will be maintained on the site as an aid to identification.