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The very variable Ophrys morisii is an endemism of the islands Sardinia and Corse. Some authors assume a hybridogene development from Ophrys crabronifera and Ophrys panormitana subsp. praecox. As for most Ophrys of the argolica group the pollinator is a bee of genus Anthophora, in this case Anthophora sicheli.

The two bottom left images, which have been taken near the cave of Ispinigola in eastern Sardinia, are showing the close relation of Ophrys morisii to Ophrys crabronifera and pollinensis, which frequently have a trilobed appendix and that dense ring of hairs around the labellum. At the site there are all kinds of intermediates from Ophrys morisii to orchids, which would be called Ophrys pollinensis if found in the Italian mainland.

The blooms shown on the two bottom right images from Villanovaforru in the west of Sardinia are unusual, too. The population doesn't consist only of such orchids with strongly trilobed labellum, but contains also normal Ophrys morisii and intermediates.

Ophrys morisii
Sardinia Ussassai 6.4.00

Ophrys morisii
left:   Sardinia Laconi 19.5.01
right: Sardinia North 3.4.00


Ophrys morisii
Sardinia Ogliastra, Ispinigola 5.4.00

Ophrys morisii
Sardinia Villanovaforru 7.4.00

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Copyright: Use of the images and texts only with author's written permission.