Ophrys

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Ophrys

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Systematics

Recently, several new taxa of the genus have been described from Cyprus and neighbouring countries, other taxa have been ranked as species. Most of them are documented in great detail by Kreutz (2004) who also summarized the relevant literature on Cyprus. See also Devillers & Devillers-Terschuren (2012) on alternative treatments. Unfortunately, there is a significant lack of keys and/or tables documenting diagnostic characters - a widespread phenomenon in orchid literature on the Mediterranean area. There is also a lack of taxonomic treatments taking into consideration complete species groups in the Euro-Mediterranean area. Generally, species concepts in Ophrys are very controversial, see, e.g., Bateman & al. (2011) on recent fundamental disputes. The latter authors recommend a massive lumping of taxa.
Our current treatment falls between these two extremes of splitters and lumpers. For the time being, we treat the majority of these new taxa as minor morphological and/or phenological varieties to be included in well established taxa. Some may also differ in specific pollinators. Other taxa seem to represent more or less stabilized hybrid swarms.

Bateman R. M., Bradshaw E., Devey D. S., Glover B. J., Malmgren S., Sramkó G., Thomas M. M. & Rudall P. J. 2011: Species arguments: clarifying competing concepts of species delimitation in the pseudo-copulatory orchid genus Ophrys. - Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 165: 336-347.
Devillers P. & Devillers-Terschuren J. 2012: Ophrys of Cyprus: diagnostic characters, relationships and biogeography. - Naturalistes Belges 93: 97-162.
Kreutz C. A. J. 2004: Die Orchideen von Zypern. The Orchids of Cyprus. - Landgraaf: C. A. J. Kreutz.