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Spider Orchid.

Spider Orchid.
Photo Information
Copyright: Peter Stoeckl (peter_stoeckl) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1736 W: 291 N: 4004] (11526)
Genre: Plants
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-05-25
Categories: Flowers
Camera: Minolta Dimage 7Hi
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Theme(s): Vienna Woods - Biosphaerenpark Wienerwald [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2006-06-02 2:55
Viewed: 5977
Points: 32
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Pretty, tricky, rare.

Ophrys holoserica (Greuter, 1967)
Late Spider Orchid
Ophrys bourdon
Orchide di Chesterman

Ophrys orchids are tricky plants: Their blossoms imitate insects by visual appearance, surface and smell in order to attract the males of ground bees and other Vespidae (Andrena, Eucera, Gorytes). The male insects mistake the Ophrys blossom for a female of their kind and start copulating with the blossom - a tricky and unusual way to attract insects in order to spread pollen: sex sells.

The colours and markings of Ophrys holoserica are quite variable. For another plant of the same species from the same location, please see:


Southern Central and Southern Europe. On dry grassland locations above limestone - places that are either turning into forests again, or getting construction areas for shopping centers or gas stations along the motorway.

Happy to have discovered this orchid last week in a protected dry grassland location south of Vienna, at the end of a several hours hiking trip through the forests and meadows of the Vienna Woods.

For further information:


E.Vitek, A.Mrkvicka, W.Adler, E.Horak, W.Fleck, B.Haslehner: Wiens Pflanzenwelt, Vienna 2004, ISBN 3-902 421-04-5

Camera: Minolta DiMage 7Hi, sRGB, 2560 x 1920 pixel, Macro Zoom 51mm, F/3.5, 1/180 sec, ISO-160, 25.05.2006, 17:41. Hand held, no flash.

Photoshop Elements: Cropped at the sides, slightly sharpened. Saturation, contrast and brightness manually adjusted, downsized to 800x800 pixels for the web.

That posting is dedicated to our friend Emmanuel Boitier - "emmari", who has contributed a very beautiful series on closely related Ophrys orchids from Southern France during the last few days:


Have a very good end of the week!
Thank you for looking.

valy67, wallhalla15, ramthakur, marhowie, SkyF, dew77, AdrianW, Leace, jchemas, elefantino, hekcik, firelord, c_rapp has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To loot: pollination processpeter_stoeckl 1 06-13 04:07
To carper: Thank you, Jaap.peter_stoeckl 1 06-03 06:04
To wallhalla15: Hummel-Ragwurzpeter_stoeckl 1 06-02 06:49
To ramthakur: - gullible guy trying to "make it out"peter_stoeckl 1 06-02 06:42
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Critiques [Translate]

very nice colors.
Maybe I would have used a portrait format.

Orchids are wonderful flowers, and this one makes no exception. Its shape and its color are splendid, I'm glad you found it :-) Excellent sharpness and details, beautiful colors, nice BG and POV. I would have cropped a bit tighter around the flower, but it's just my opinion, still a great shot.


Well composed, good POV, BG and detail shown. TFS,

Very 'deceptive' orchid, Peter.
Nature is a store-house of numerous wonders!
It would be interesting to see a gullible guy trying to "make it out" with this seductive flower :) !
Very good image with a fine POV, DOF and colours.

Hallo Peter, ober der Hummel-Ragwurz selten kann ich Dir sagen. Er kommt auf jeden Fall in der Rhön und auf der Schwäbische Alb vor. Bin leider auch kein Fachmann i.S. Orchideen. Ich kenne mal gerade ein paar Knabenkrautarten, Frauenschuh, Kohlröschen und natürlich ein paar der allseits verkauften Orchideenart "Phalaenopsis". (meine Exfrau hatte sich mal intensiver mit Orchideen beschäftigt) Anbei ein Link, der Dich evtl. interessieren könnte. http://orchideen-kartierung.de/GERMANY/baum.html
Sehr schönes Foto der Hummel-Wurz. Sehr gute Schärfe und natürliche Farben. Danke für das Foto und Deine erstklassigen Bemerkungen incl. Workshop. Ich wünsche Dir ein schönes Wochenende und hoffentlich ein Ende der "Eiszeit".

Hello Peter,
Very nice shot of this rare species. Excellent light and color, well seen from the clean BG..Great POV, DOF, and details, and WS addition as well.
Excellent notes on this flower.
Very well done!

  • Great 
  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
  • [2006-06-02 8:46]

Hallo Peter,
super information die du uns zu dieser schoenen Orchidee mitlieferst. Eine wirklich schoene Aufnahme mit interessanten Details und herrlichen Farben. Die Freistellung der Blume ist super gelungen. Klasse Bildaufbau.
Schoenes Wochenende! Sky

  • Great 
  • dew77 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4432 W: 248 N: 4028] (13270)
  • [2006-06-02 8:52]

Hello Peter,
Excellent macro.POV,colors,blurred BG,lighting,details and composition are wonderful.Have a very good weekend too!

Hello Peter, great Job, Perfect details, BG, POV, Perfect details, DOF, great JOb, TFS Kyle

  • Great 
  • jmp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1659 W: 95 N: 2273] (8415)
  • [2006-06-02 14:14]

Hi Peter,
Lovely and soft colors! You have eliminate very well the background too. Details, POV and DOF are perfect!
José M.

Nice macro, Peter.
Colors are really true and soft.
Lovely composition,

good lesson Peter,
the shot is very nice the pov on the orchid is very good with a good dof, good job.
gr. jaap

hi peter
tres belle orchidée, le BG est bien fait.cela manque peu être un peu de contraste,mais ce n'est que mon avis.

Hello Peter,

Excellent shot.
POV, DOF, BG, composition, color and sharp are pefect.
Very well done!

TFS :-)

  • Great 
  • loot Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5524 W: 722 N: 4163] (11276)
  • [2006-06-13 0:48]
  • [2] [+]

Hi Peter
What a lovely specimen of this terrestrial orchid. I fancied how you skilfully sketched the pollination process by insects through pseudocopulation. Orchid flowers have a column (clearly seen in your photo) normally centrally placed on the lip, which unite both the male and female reproductive organs. This column has an anther-cap that conceals the pollen (male organ). Unlike the dust-like pollen of lilies, orchids hold their pollen in a number of sticky pollen masses (balls) called pollinia. These could come in multiples of 2, 4, 6 or 8 depending on the species. When the male insect visits the flower and does his act of procreation, he bumps the anther-cap which dislodges and reveals the sticky pollinia that normally attach to the insect's head. When the insect now visit the next flower and repeat the process, the pollinia then attach to the stigma (female organ) which is strategically placed in the column and thus the plant is pollinated.
Your photo is great showing the beauty of this little flower in all its glory. The colours are very natural, the details are splendid, the BG enhances the flower, and the exposure was well managed showing the crystal like texture of the orchid.
Very well done and TFS.

WOW!! Nice colors and detail. The only 'spider' I will ever like. Thanks for sharing such a cool pic.

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