John and Gerry's    Orchids of Britain and Europe
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Ophrys pallidula


This new species was first described from the Thripti region of Crete by Paulus in 2007 and is the result of considerable study into the later flowering fusca of the   island 

O. pallidulais endemic to the Thripti mountains in the east of the island, although it does not appear to be particularly uncommon and indeed has been found to readily  hybridize with O. phaidra and possibly others. It is very reminiscent of O. lindia  from Rhodes and like that species, the colour of the lip is a pale chestnut brown, this being a feature which helps distinguish it from O. phaidra.

These two species (as well as the very rare O. cressa) may grow in close association and share similar flowering times (late March to April) depending on altitude. The speculum of O. pallidula is variable both in colouration and extent. In some examples it may be large and reach the sinus (see picture 2) and in others be restricted to the central area without touching the margins at all. The base colour ranges from brown to metallic blue but is generally quite dull and there is usually a visible milky crescent. There is invariably a bright yellow marginal band and this can often be broad.

These illustrations date from the 13th of April.