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

This is a relatively rare orchid which together with its close relative O. phaseliana is a member of the O. attaviria  group of Ophrys,  both of which are found sparingly throughout the Aegean islands and Anatolia. It appears however that O. parosica is rather more frequent on some of the islands than was first thought, occurring in variable forms that can make identification a far from straightforward procedure and accounting for it's being previously under-recorded.

O. parosica
is perhaps most easily differentiated from its close cousin by the flatter appearance of the lip IE:- there is minimal swelling in the prominences and the speculum seems to lay on the lobes with far shallower bisection from the groove than in O. phaseliana. Photograph 3 is no masterpiece but is included as it serves to highlight the thin cross section of the flower. It also demonstrates another feature common to this species and that is the way in which its flowers are held at an upward angle, sometimes even horizontally, reminiscent in many ways of O. sicula. The mottled, somewhat moth-eaten dark brown lip is also typical but not in itself diagnostic as it's a feature that is not always present. It is also the case that many of the other numerous fusca species growing within the same range can occasionally imitate this appearance.

The species name derives from the island of Paros in the Cyclades, from where it was first described by Delforge in 1995. The usual flowering period for this species commences in mid May and the illustrations here come from Chios, dating from the second week of April 2008.