|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note [French]|
|The genus Ophrys is a large group of orchids from the alliance Orchis in the subtribe Orchidinae. There are many natural hybrids. The type species is Ophrys insectifera L.1753|
They are referred to as the "Bee orchids" due to the flowers of some species resemblance to the furry bodies of Bumble Bees and other insects. Their scientific name is derived from the Greek word "ophrys", meaning "eyebrow", referring to the furry edges of the lips of several species.
Ophrys was first mentioned in the book "Natural History" by Pliny the Elder (23-79 AD).
They are terrestrial or ground orchids from central to South Europe, North Africa, Asia Minor, up to the Caucasus Mountains, but mostly around the Mediterranean. They are considered the most important group of European terrestrial orchids.
During summer all Ophrys orchids are dormant as an underground bulbous tuber, which serves as a food reserve. In late summer/autumn they develop a rosette of leaves. Also a new tuber starts to grow and matures until the following spring; the old tuber slowly dies. The next spring the flowering stem starts to grow. During flowering the leaves already start to wither.
Most Ophrys orchids are dependent on symbiotic fungi. Because of this, some species only develop small alternate leaves. Transplanting specimens, especially wild specimens, is difficult, sometimes impossible, due to this symbiosis. The shiny, basal leaves have a green or bluish color.
The flowers surpass all other European orchids. Two to twelve flowers grow on an erect stem with basal leaves. They are absolutely unique not only because of their unequaled beauty, color range and exceptional forms, but also because of the ingenuity by which they attract insects. Their lip mimics several insects, such as that of a bee, a wasp, or a beetle, attracting and duping the right pollinator. This visual cue serves as a close-range attractant. This pollination mimicry is enhanced by producing the scent of the receptive female insect. This is the long-range attractant. These insect pheromones cause them to approach and investigate the flowers more closely. This all happens in a period that only males are active and females haven't appeared yet.
The Bumblebee Orchid (Ophrys bombyliflora) is a typical example. It has flowers that look and smell so much like female Bumble Bees that males flying nearby are irresistibly drawn in by this chemical signal, stimulating them sexually. The insect gets so excited that he starts to copulate with the flower. This is termed pseudocopulation. The firmness, the smoothness and the velvety hairs of the lip are a further incentive for the insect to enter the flower. The pollinia inadvertently stick to the head or the abdomen of the male bumblebee.
Identification and special thanks: Herve Gomila, ecologist botanist who identified these Ophrys
herve1993, anel, Maite, Debz has marked this note useful
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Félicitation pour ce magnifique Macro qui est réalisé.La composition est excellente avec de superbes de couleurs.
Merci et au revoir...JP
belle prise, de tres bons détails et belles couleurs
Très beau duo sur ces ophrys aux formes et aux couleurs incroyables. J'aime beaucoup le fondu du rose des sépales avec l'arrière plan, très doux. C'est peut être grâce à l'emploi du flash, auquel je ne suis pas habitué.
C'est vraiement une source intarissable d'envie de photos, ces fleurs là...
très joli, ce sont des plantes assez curieuses je trouve, belles couleurs, bravo
- [2007-03-09 3:55]
Elles sont vraiment belles ces ophrys. Elles fleurissent près de chez toi? Il semble qu'elles fleurissent déjà en mai. J'aimerais bien en voir aussi un jour.
Bonne journée et merci pour cette belle image
- [2007-03-09 4:26]
Definitely interesting full frontal pov here. Sharpness and detail are good, but need more depth of field. Background blur is quite pleasing. Well done. Regards,
- [2007-03-09 9:54]
You've got an interesting point of view on these beautiful and curious flowers! The image is really beautiful with the pretty flower over that excellent bg. Lovely colors and composition and valuable note.
My compliments and best wishes
- [2007-03-09 11:39]
Robi, a great sharp shot of this unusual flower. I can see why it is called Bumblebee Orchid. Great close up of the colourful markings and an excellent DOF. Lovely composition