Overview

Distribution

Range Description

Ophrys insectifera is a central European species, stretching from Ireland and the mountains of northern Spain east to the Apennines, Romania, northern Greece and the Ukraine. In the northeast there are outliers in Norway and the Moscow area. Ophrys insectifera is the most northern of the Ophrys species. It is found from sea level to 1,700 m altitude (Pederson and Faurholdt 2007, Delforge 1995).

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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology

Ophrys insectifera can typically be found in fens, grassland, verges, open pine woods and wooded meadows, rarely on peat-bogs. This orchid grows in dry to wet, calcareous to neutral soil in full sunlight to light shade. The flowering time of the species takes place from May to July (Pederson and Faurholdt 2007, Delforge 1995).


Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Associations

Plant / pollenated
male of Argogorytes fargei pollenates or fertilises flower of Ophrys insectifera

Plant / pollenated
male of Argogorytes mystaceus pollenates or fertilises flower of Ophrys insectifera

Plant / pollenated
male of Gorytes pollenates or fertilises flower of Ophrys insectifera

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Evolution and Systematics

Functional Adaptations

Functional adaptation

Flowers increase pollen transfer: orchids
 

The flowers of some orchids increase efficiency of pollen transfer because they look or smell like female insects.

       
  "While most flowering plants reward pollinators with tasty nectar, many  orchid species turn to trickery. Some use what's called food deception.  They produce flowers that look or smell like they offer food, but offer  no edible reward. Other orchids use sexual deception. They produce  flowers that look or smell like female insects, usually bees or wasps.  Males are drawn to the sexy flowers and attempt to mate with it. In  doing so, they accidentally collect pollen on their bodies, which  fertilizes the next orchid they visit.

"…[Researchers] found that populations of sexually deceptive orchids had higher 'pollen transport efficiency' than the species with multiple  pollinators. In other words, a higher percentage of the pollen that was  taken from sexually deceptive orchids actually made it to another orchid  of the same species. The orchids with multiple pollinators had more  pollen taken from their flowers, but more of that pollen was lost --  dropped to the ground or deposited in flowers of the wrong species." (Science Daily 2009)
  Learn more about this functional adaptation.
  • Scopece G; Cozzolino S; Johnson SD; Schiestl FP. 2010. Pollination efficiency and the evolution of specialized deceptive pollination systems. The American Naturalist. 175(1): 98-105.
  • 2009. Orchids' sexual trickery explained: leads to more efficient pollinating system. Science Daily [Internet],
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Ophrys insectifera

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Ophrys insectifera

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 4
Specimens with Barcodes: 4
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2011

Assessor/s
Rankou, H.

Reviewer/s
Fay, M. & Bilz, M.

Contributor/s

Justification
European regional assessment: Least Concern (LC)
EU 27 regional assessment: Least Concern (LC)

Ophrys insectifera is widespread and occurs in several locations in Europe. The existing threats for the species and the habitats are unlikely to cause the populations to decline severely in the near future. Therefore, Ophrys insectifera is assessed as Least Concern.
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Population

Population

Ophrys insectifera is widespread in the central European region but sometimes quite rare. The trend of the populations remains unknown (Pederson and Faurholdt 2007, Delforge 1995). It is locally declining, for example, in the United Kingdom.


Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats

Ophrys insectifera is affected by urbanisation, construction work and residential building (Pederson and Faurholdt 2007).

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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions

All orchid species are included under Annex B of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). This orchid is listed as Critically Endangered on the Bulgarian red list (Petrova and Vladimirov 2009) and Vulnerable on the Croatian red list (Nikolić and Topić 2005), but Least Concern on the French red list (UICN France et al. 2010). Recommended conservation measures for Ophrys insectifera are:

  • Protection of the living individuals through legislation which bans the species from being picked or dug up.
  • Protection of the localities through legal nature conservancy.
  • Introducing informal and inexpensive management contracts with the owners of species localities.
  • Moderate grazing or forestry, mowing or recurrent burning; to prevent the vegetation to become dominated by more robust and competitive species.
  • Monitoring the existing populations and sites.
  • Estimate the population size and study their dynamics (Pederson and Faurholdt 2007).
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Wikipedia

Ophrys insectifera

Ophrys insectifera, the fly orchid, is a species of orchid and the type species of the genus Ophrys. It is native to Europe[1] (Codes)[2] and favors sites with alkaline soil. The name arises because its inflorescence resembles a fly, although it is dependent on wasps and bees for pollination. The plants use scent to attract male wasps and bees which pollinate the flowers as they attempt to mate with the flower. The scent released by the flowers mimic female sexual pheromones.[3]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "World Checklist of Selected Plant Families". 
  2. ^ "World Checklist of Selected Plant Families TDWG Geocodes". 
  3. ^ Borg-Karlson, Anna-Karin; Inga Groth, Lennart Ågren and Bertil Kullenberg (1993). "Form-specific fragances from Ophrys insectifera L.". Chemoecology (Birkhäuser Basel) 4 (1): 39–45. doi:10.1007/BF01245895. 
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