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Ophrys eptapigiensis

O. eptapigiensis was first described from Crete by Paulus in 1998 and is a member of the widespread O.fusca group of Ophrys. It is also widely known by the synonym O. cressa.

O. eptapigiensis is only known to occur in Crete, Karpathos and since its discovery in 2001, Rhodes. It is rare in all of these locations and particularly so in Rhodes where at the time of writing there exists considerable expert opinion believing the plants regarded as O. eptapigiensis to be occasional occurrences of O. attaviria  exhibiting a morphological similarity. These authorities would point to the fact that it is always found growing in Pinewood clearings in association with O. attaviria and invariably as single plants.  In addition, the pollinator of these plants has yet to be identified, in Crete it is thought, but not known with certainty to be Andrena merula .

With the aforementioned in mind, the photographs that accompany this page are all from Rhodes and cannot therefore be regarded as necessarily depictions of the same species found in Crete.

This is a smaller Ophrys than O. attaviria in Rhodes or O. creticola in Crete and is also a later flowerer. One of the key characteristics of O. eptapigiensis is the long central groove with conspicuous longtitudinal prominences that give the lobe a slightly convex profile.  The speculum is normally fairly drab and the lip bordered with a narrow yellow (sometimes red) margin, although this latter feature can be obscured by the reflexed lip. Another distinguishing aspect of this species is the red brown transverse bar that bisects the rear of the white stigmatic cavity. This is often a complete line but can also be limited to two stripes on either side.