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Early Spider Orchid
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Orchidaceae
Subfamily: Orchidoideae
Genus: Ophrys
Species: O. sphegodes
Binomial name
Ophrys sphegodes
Mill.
Synonyms

See text.

Ophrys sphegodes, commonly known as the Early Spider Orchid, is a species of orchid found on alkaline meadows and waste land. It has a distribution that includes western and northern Europe extending to parts of southern England but may also be found as far east as Corfu and possibly also in southern Spain. The distribution may however be uncertain because of confusion between related species. In Britain, it is restricted to parts of Dorset, Hampshire and Kent and is regarded as rare although where it is found it may be in stands of many hundreds of plants. It is classified as a British Red Data Book plant. Despite its apparent vulnerability, it has very successfully colonised the chalk spoil dumping grounds created near Dover at Samphire Hoe from the excavations of the Channel Tunnel. It forms stands of relatively short plants between 30 cm to 40 cm in April and May. The flowers have yellow-green sepals and a velvety brown labellum with a distinctive H marking so that the flowers much resembles an arthropod and especially a spider.

Synonyms

  • Arachnites aranifera (Huds.) Bubani 1901
  • Myodium araniferum (Huds.) Salisb. 1812
  • Ophrys araneola Rchb. 1831
  • Ophrys aranifera f. latipetala Chaub. ex St.-Amans 1821
  • Ophrys aranifera f. oodicheila Renz 1928
  • Ophrys aranifera f. peralba G .Keller 1912
  • Ophrys aranifera f. pseudomuscifera Ruppert 1917
  • Ophrys aranifera f. purpurea A. Camus 1929
  • Ophrys aranifera f. semilunaris W. Zimm. 1917
  • Ophrys aranifera Huds. 1778
  • Ophrys aranifera ssp. litigiosa (E.G. Camus) P. Fourn.
  • Ophrys aranifera ssp. araneola (Rchb.) K. Richt. 1890
  • Ophrys aranifera subvar. bavarica Soó 1927
  • Ophrys aranifera var. aurantiaca Beauverd 1929
  • Ophrys aranifera var. euchlora J. Murray 1905
  • Ophrys aranifera var. flavescens M. Schulze 1894
  • Ophrys aranifera var. quadriloba Rchb.f. 1851
  • Ophrys aranifera var. rotulata Beck 1890
  • Ophrys aranifera var. subfucifera Rchb.f. 1851
  • Ophrys argensonensis J.-C. Guérin & A. Merlet 1998
  • Ophrys argentaria Devillers-Tersch. & Devillers 1991
  • Ophrys classica Devillers-Tersch. & Devillers 2000
  • Ophrys cretensis (H. Baumann & Künkele) Paulus 1988
  • Ophrys crucigera Jacq. 1784
  • Ophrys delmeziana P. Delforge 1989
  • Ophrys exaltata ssp. mateolana (Medagli & al.) Paulus & Gack 1999
  • Ophrys fuchsii W. Zimm. 1917
  • Ophrys fucifera Sm. 1830
  • Ophrys fuciflora Curtis 1778
  • Ophrys galeopsidea Lag. ex Colmeiro 1889
  • Ophrys garganica O. Danesch & E. Danesch 1975
  • Ophrys garganica ssp. passionis (Sennen ex Devillers-Tersch. & Devillers) Paulus & Gack 1999
  • Ophrys garganica ssp. sipontensis (R. Lorenz & Gembardt) Del Prete 1984
  • Ophrys gortynia (H. Baumann & Künkele) Paulus 1988
  • Ophrys hebes (Kalopissis) E. Willing & B. Willing 1980
  • Ophrys illyrica S. Hertel & K. Hertel 2002
  • Ophrys incubacea ssp. garganica (O. Danesch & E. Danesch) Galesi 2004
  • Ophrys insectifera var. arachnites L. 1753
  • Ophrys insectifera var. pallescens Moggr. 1869
  • Ophrys insectifera var. rubescens Moggr. 1869
  • Ophrys litigiosa E.G. Camus 1900
  • Ophrys majellensis (Helga Daiss & Herm. Daiss) P. Delforge 1998
  • Ophrys massiliensis Viglione & Véla 1999
  • Ophrys mateolana Medagli & al. 1991
  • Ophrys melitensis (Salk.) Devillers-Tersch. & Devillers 1994
  • Ophrys montenegrina (H. Baumann & Künkele) Devillers-Tersch. & Devillers 1991
  • Ophrys negadensis G. Thiele & W. Thiele 2001
  • Ophrys passionis Sennen ex Devillers-Tersch. & Devillers 1994
  • Ophrys passionis ssp. majellensis (Helga Daiss & Herm. Daiss) Romolini & Soca 2000
  • Ophrys provincialis (H. Baumann & Künkele) Paulus 1988
  • Ophrys quadriloba (Rchb.f.) E.G. Camus 1908
  • Ophrys riojana C.E.Hermos., J. Eur. Orch. 31: 881 (1999).
  • Ophrys ruppertii A. Fuchs 1917
  • Ophrys sipontensis R. Lorenz & Gembardt 1987
  • Ophrys sphegodes f. latipetala (Chaub. ex St.-Amans) Soó 1971
  • Ophrys sphegodes f. pseudomuscifera (Ruppert) Soó 1971
  • Ophrys sphegodes f. subfucifera (Rchb.f.) Soó 1971
  • Ophrys sphegodes lus. aurantiaca (Beauverd) Soó 1971
  • Ophrys sphegodes lus. bavarica (Soó) Soó 1971
  • Ophrys sphegodes lus. euchlora (J. Murray) Soó 1971
  • Ophrys sphegodes lus. flavescens (M. Schulze) Soó 1971
  • Ophrys sphegodes lus. pallescens (Moggr.) Soó 1971
  • Ophrys sphegodes lus. peralba (G. Keller) Soó 1971
  • Ophrys sphegodes lus. purpurea (A. Camus) Soó 1971
  • Ophrys sphegodes lus. rotulata (Beck) Soó 1971
  • Ophrys sphegodes lus. rubescens (Moggr.) Soó 1971
  • Ophrys sphegodes lus. semilunaris (W. Zimm.) Soó 1971
  • Ophrys sphegodes ssp. araneola (Rchb.) M. Laínz 1983
  • Ophrys sphegodes ssp. cretensis H. Baumann & Künkele 1986
  • Ophrys sphegodes ssp. garganica E. Nelson 1962
  • Ophrys sphegodes ssp. gortynia H. Baumann & Künkele 1986
  • Ophrys sphegodes ssp. hebes Kalopissis 1975
  • Ophrys sphegodes ssp. litigiosa (E.G. Camus) Bech. 1925
  • Ophrys sphegodes ssp. majellensis Helga Daiss & Herm. Daiss 1997
  • Ophrys sphegodes ssp. melitensis Salk. 1992
  • Ophrys sphegodes ssp. montenegrina H. Baumann & Künkele 1988
  • Ophrys sphegodes ssp. oodicheila (Renz) Riech. 2004
  • Ophrys sphegodes ssp. passionis (Sennen ex Devillers-Tersch. & Devillers) Sanz & Nuet 1995
  • Ophrys sphegodes ssp. provincialis H. Baumann & Künkele 1988
  • Ophrys sphegodes ssp. tommasinii (Vis.) Soó 1971
  • Ophrys sphegodes var. argentaria (Devillers-Tersch. & Devillers) Faurh. 2002
  • Ophrys sphegodes var. garganicoides Balayer 1986
  • Ophrys sphegodes var. gigantea A. Fuchs 1917
  • Ophrys sphegodes var. subaesculapiana Balayer 1986
  • Ophrys sphegodes var. subspruneriana Balayer 1986
  • Ophrys sphegodes var. subtommasiniana Balayer 1986
  • Ophrys tarquinia P. Delforge 2000
  • Ophrys tommasinii ssp. araneola (Rchb.) Soó 1980
  • Ophrys tommasinii ssp. litigiosa (E.G. Camus) Soó 1973
  • Ophrys tommasinii Vis. 1851
  • Ophrys vindelica W. Zimm. ex A. Fuchs 1928

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