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Ophrys insectifera

Ophrys insectifera
Photo Information
Copyright: Catherine Dijon (CatherineD) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 861 W: 57 N: 4006] (14097)
Genre: Plants
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2010-06-06
Categories: Flowers
Camera: Canon EOS 40 D, Canon EF 100 mm F2.8 Macro USM
Exposure: f/6.3, 1/13 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Orchids of Belgium [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2010-06-08 10:28
Viewed: 3033
Points: 22
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note [French]
It is the first time I see this pretty and rare Ophrys thanks to the precious indications of Jeroen (Belgerdy). Thanks MF!

Ophrys insectifera L, 1753
Family : Orchidaceae
Common names: Fly Orchid [En], Ophrys mouche [Fr], Vliegenorchis [Nl], Moscaria [It], Orquídea mosca [Es], Fliegen-Ragwurz [De]

Taller, more slender than the other members of the genus. The three sepals are pointed, yellow-green and stiff. The upper petals are wire-like, purple-brown and velvety, looking just like antennae. The lip is long and three-lobed, the lateral lobes rounded. The lip is rich mahogany-brown, velvety in texture, and has a brilliant band of iridescent blue - the speculum - across the middle. There are two glistening patches at the base of the lip that resemble eyes.
It is widespread throughout central Europe, but with only scattered records from the Iberian Peninsular, the west Mediterranean, and southern Scandinavia east towards the Urals. As it is not as 'Mediterranean' in its climatic preference, its range extends further north than other Ophrys species.
It is a shade-tolerant tuberous herb usually found on chalk and limestone soils, and, like many orchids, sporadic in its appearance.
This Orchid is native to Europe and favors sites with alkaline soil. The name arises because it resembles a fly, being totally dependent on flies and bees for pollination. The plants use scent to attract male flies, which pollinate the flowers as they attempt to mate with the flower. The scent released by the flowers mimic female fly sexual pheromones.
It is scarce in Britain and in Ireland, absent from Scotland and Northern Ireland. Vulnerable in the UK, it was added to the list of UK Biodiversity Action Plan priority species in 2007.

Borg-Karlson A.-K., Groth I., Ågren L. and Kullenberg B. (1993). "Form-specific fragances from Ophrys insectifera L.". Chemoecology (Birkhäuser Basel).
Hultén, E. & Fries, M. 1986. Atlas of north European vascular plants: north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols. Königstein: Koeltz Scientific Books.
Sanford, M. 1991. The orchids of Suffolk. Ipswich: Suffolk Naturalists’ Society.
Botanical Society of the British Isles
Britain’s Orchids

horias, Argus, anemone, yasemin, boreocypriensis has marked this note useful
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To boreocypriensis: lady or wasp?CatherineD 4 06-08 15:03
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • horias Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 837 W: 58 N: 2084] (11033)
  • [2010-06-08 11:28]

Hi Catherine
Another great orchid from you!
Details and colors are perfect!
Amazing POV and BG!
Congratulation for this beauty!

Hello Catherine!
Very nice this orchid! I like the colours and the details of the flower!.It is very interesting that a sider had its home there on the flower, that result some insects that can make the fertilization....

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2010-06-08 12:09]

Hello Catherine,
This close portrait of the flower of O. insectifera couldn't be much better. The simple OOF natural clean BG allows the flower to show up well with fine natural colours and good clarity in a perfect composition.
You have inspired me to improve on my shots of it! Thank you my friend!

Hellp Catherine.
Super macro photo of a beautiful orchid species.
Details, POV and composition are impressive.
Best regards

Hi Catherine. incredible close up shot. Details, sharpness and lighting are very good...I like the shape of this orchid flower...Composition excellent... TFS.
Kind regards

İyi geceler sevgili arkadaşım Cat:)

Very fine capture, the focus looks great. Certainly makes for an eye-catching thumbnail with its colours. The central composition works quite well here, and the tones look nice and natural. Looks like quite a photogenic orchid. By the way, as is implying its specific name (insectifera, carrying insect), i could not see any insect:) but i see a "skirted lady body" in shape:) hehe..
TFS and have a great night MF!


  • Great 
  • joska Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 806 W: 0 N: 4092] (22535)
  • [2010-06-08 21:57]

Very good photo of this Ophrys, TFS!

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2010-06-09 1:46]

Une photo precieuse,elegante,simple et realisee' a la perfection,une nouvelle perle dans ta galerie des orchidees sauvages vraiment interessante! Mes compliments et bonne journee',LUCIANO

Ciao Catherine. What simple beauty! perfect DOf and sharp with intrigant playing of light.


A pesar de la justa luz, captaste sin problema la belleza de esta orquídea que vemos poco por aquí.
Un placer admirarla.
Abrazo Catherine: J. Ignasi.

Mon orchidée préférée. Elle m'a servit lors d'une conférence pour prouver que l'évolution reste une théorie erronée. Cette petite orchidée que l'on trouve dans nos fagnes à absolument besoin d'une guêpe bien précise pour se reproduire. Comment a-t-elle fait en attendant l'arrivée des insectes sur terre???? Superbe photo. Merci Catherine

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