left arrowball, from Animation City   Ophrys forestieri   right arrowball, from Animation City

For the early big-flowered Ophrys fusca s.l. from Southern France and Northern Spain, which is pollinated by (Mel)Andrena nigroaenea the identity with material belonging to the old name Ophrys forestieri has 2010 been confirmed by LOWE in J.Eur.Orch. 42 (3/4): 501-522. At least for these populations Ophrys lupercalis P.DEVILLERS & J.DEVILLERS-TERSCHUREN (1994) is a synonym now, and most probably for the Sicilian early fusca applies the same. If I have seen the species during my visits to Sicily at all, then only in mountain regions in fading state, because it is the earliest fusca s.l. species in Sicily, the flower is starting already about Christmas. At least in Southern Sicily it is not rare.
It is different from Ophrys fusca, which was described by LINK in 1800 near Lisbon in Portugal.

Ophrys forestieri, F Nice 6.4.01 Ophrys forestieri, F Nice 6.4.01
--- not Sicily ---
Ophrys lucifera, I Tuscany Monte Argentario 17.3.02 Ophrys lucifera, I Tuscany Monte Argentario 17.3.02
--- not Sicily ---
 

In Natural.belges 81 (Orchid. 13): 251 (2000) DELFORGE mentions Ophrys lucifera for Sicily, too, but without any information about sites. In the 2. edition 2001 of his 'Guide des Orchidées ...' he shows a bloom from Sicily, province of Siracusa. Ophrys lucifera has been described by DEVILLERS-TERSCHUREN & DEVILLERS (2000) in Natural.belges 81 (Orchid. 13): 322 from Monte Argentario (Tuscany). The orchids there reminded me at too big French bilunulata (sensu DELFORGE). Blooms like that I haven't seen in Sicily.

 
 
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