The situation of Ophrys fusca complex in Calabria

Pseudophrys situation (and especially the fusca-iricolor complex), extremely chaotic on its own, becomes increasingly difficult approaching south Italy. Sicily has been more or less intensely investigated, with entities like O. gackiae, O. sabulosa, O. caelocerina, etc. arising from these studies; Sardinia and Apulia have been studied too with the creation of other Pseudophrys and "subfusca" species. On the other hand the near Calabria lacks completely of specific studies; the proximity and similarity to Sicily always struck me, so I was very surprised to find out that there were no data/papers about Calabrian orchids except some old articles/checklists (ex. Delforge 2003) and one outdated book. If you check the Italian Flora Portal (https://dryades.units.it/floritaly/index.php), the conclusion would be that no fusca-like Ophrys can be found until May! The Portal reports just Ophrys fusca ssp. lucana for the entire Calabria. My numerous observations of Ophrys fusca s.l. from December to May obviously contradict this lack of data in a very practical way; the next difficult step is naming all these entities without a trusted guidance on the base of flowering period, morphological features and descriptions of the closest resembling species (mainly looking at the Sicilian Pseudophrys). The "right" way for an exact and science-proof insight about O. fusca complex in Calabria is a more thorough, extended-in-time and hopefully genetic-comprehensive survey all over the Calabrian territory; anyway I tried to summarize and group all my relevant observations under some know taxa, numbering each link and giving my best explanation for the chosen name. Any new data, comment, criticism is welcome!

Lupercalis/forestieri: early flowering (XII-III), narrow and long labella slightly bent at the base, visible yellow border of labella, flowers arranged in a spiral along the stem, plant quite high
1a) https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/145364582
2a) https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/145364583
3a) https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/148202599
4a) https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/150604784
5a) https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/150577551

Flammeola: flat or slightly bent labella, dark brown color with red hue and (big) yellow border, central margin of the labella sometimes bent upwards, flowering later than lupercalis (III-IV)
1b) https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/150577548
2b) https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/114140582
3b) https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112366884
4b) https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/150577543
5b) https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/148912025 (same as n. 2)
6b) https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/114140590

Gackiae: not so high plant, flowering later than lupercalis (II-IV), flowers arranged on top of the stem like in a ball, green color of the plant with yellow tones
1c) https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/113064890
2c) https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112366870

Iricolor: basal ridges, dark-blue iridescent macula, labella non bent, quite early flowering (I-III)
1d) https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/148202593

Doubtful specimens:
1e) https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/113073749
2e) https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/76143657
3e) https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/150577552
4e) https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/150577558
5e) https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112190130
6e) https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/113948422
7e) https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/110572069
8e) https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/113948442

Posted on March 09, 2023 02:35 PM by luigitorino luigitorino

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Posted by luigitorino about 1 year ago

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