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Wasp Ophrys or Ophrys tenthredinifera Willd.  - 11th March 2006

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Wasp Ophrys or Ophrys tenthredinifera Willd.

 

It's full orchid season now in Crete, at least at lower altitude. A friend of mine introduced me to them a couple of years ago. A lot of these are small flowers which like to hide in phrygana and other bushes, so looking for them can be quite fun, a bit like an Easter egg hunt. And once you have found a good looking one (I don't photograph the ugly ones) you need to set up your little studio right there in the thorns and mud. A very down to earth activity. Almost as satisfying as shooting birds (the flying kind I mean) and way more politically correct.

Once back in my high tech thornless home environment it's a matter of identifying what I have shot. And these little buggers are not so easy to the untrained eye, especially as not only are there loads of species and subspecies but they even interbreed.

The one above should be simple, I think that it is a Wasp Ophrys (or Sawfly Ophrys) or Ophrys tenthredinifera Willd. Please correct me if I am wrong.

For those who, like me, wonder about the abbreviation Willd., I just found out that it comes from Carl Ludwig Willdenow who was a German botanist. Early in the morning and I have already learned something. This is going to be a good day!

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