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Anacamptis fragrans (Orchidaceae) Nurallao, Sardinia, Italy. May 21, 2010 Anacamptis coriophora,Geotagged,Italy,Spring Click/tap to enlarge PromotedSpecies introCountry intro

Anacamptis fragrans (Orchidaceae)

Nurallao, Sardinia, Italy. May 21, 2010

    comments (10)

  1. Ferdy, how familiar are you with the taxonomy issues that surround many European orchids?
    Basically, us French people, the Belgians, the Italians, the Germans to a lesser extent and others generally follow (though sometimes with reluctance, and not always in complete agreement between countries) a bunch of taxonomists, some of whom are rabid splitters. For example, at present, these people recognize over 200 species in the genus Ophrys. (see this website to give you an idea: http://www.orchidsofbritainandeuropetest.uk/Genus%20Ophrys.html)

    And on the other hand, we have some others, who are at the other end of the spectrum and lump all of these together into a handful of ultra-variable and very widespread species. Some things they accept as distinct subspecies, and but a lot they completely sink into synonymy. And this is often what is reflected by the ITIS...
    Now I'm obviously no taxonomist, and especially with orchids, I would never claim that something is an undoubtedly good "species". But I've seen a fair number of them, for example some of the taxa that are endemic to Sicily and Sardinia, and a lot of them appear to me to be distinct enough to warrant some sort of recognition.
    Most of what I'm talking about concerns the genus Ophrys. But this is another example. Technically, this photo pertains to a taxon called Anacamptis fragrans. In fairness, it is quite similar to Anacamptis coriophora, and some call it a subspecies, which I would have been happy to do, but the ITIS only considers it a synonym of coriophora. So that's what I identified it as, but I'd like to have your opinion on that whole deal, and what I should do for the other photos I haven't uploaded yet.
    Thanks (and I hope that wasn't too wordy and convoluted, please let me know if you want me to rephrase).
    Posted one year ago
    1. As for which of the system is right, I'm not sure of course, but it would be best indeed to pick one and try to be consistent. Easiest for JungleDragon is to follow whatever is the convention at english Wikipedia. Do they have a consistent approach?

      The problem is that when Wikipedia is not consistent, you end up having to do lots of maintenance for each new species added, because new species are often created using the Wikipedia taxonomy.
      Posted one year ago
      1. Yes the wiki artcile acknowledges this exact problem, but they end up saying that for now they follow Kew, which is really quite restrictive in my opinion, and actually accepts fewer taxa than the ITIS.
        But you've answered my question, I'll stick rigorously to the ITIS, and maybe just put something in the comments of my photos about what splitters might calle them.
        Posted one year ago
  2. Gorgeous! I had no idea about the taxonomic problems with orchids in Europe! :o

    Are you generally a lumper or a splitter?
    Posted one year ago
    1. I'm somewhere in the middle I suppose. There's one book that was published by one of the most notorious splitters where I can't help but be very skeptical when he'll present a group of 15 species, all of them with photos that look identical to my eyes, and descriptions along the lines of "...like the previous species, but on average, the petals are 1 mm longer and the flowers bloom 2 days later..." and of course all of his species are extremely rare and localized... basically he admits no intraspecific variation, which is dumb to me!
      Another argument that's often offered by the splitters is that a lot of their species might look alike, but in fact each one has a different, specialized, pollinator. Now that's fair, and I have very little personal experience to bring to bear, and yet I have a sneaky suspicion that not enough time has been spent with each "species" to guarantee that indeed it is only pollinated by one insect species. (And even they happily describe hybrids including their species as parents, which kind of undermines the specialized pollinator hypothesis!!)
      But I happen to know personally two serious French authorities on the genus Ophrys, and they accept a lot of these species, so I often followed their lead, even if I usually was unable to match their identification skills.
      Posted one year ago, modified one year ago
      1. As molecular biologist that I am I can only say that the best method to settle the difference is a genomic DNA study to look for homologies and genetic polymorphisms. Whichever system uses this may be the most accurate :-) Posted one year ago, modified one year ago
        1. I just asked a friend who did her PhD on the biogeography of Mediterranean orchids and she thinks that a pure molecular approach might be insufficient, as we are dealing with taxa that are still speciating, with gene flow during secondary contact.
          So she argues for a combination of genetics, morphological and pollination studies (looking at specific floral scents and pollinator species), but of course that has yet to be done at the scale of the genus...
          Posted one year ago
          1. Yes, I agree with you both. It is quite complicated! I hope you can find the closest possible match :-) Posted one year ago
  3. Sorry, i wanted to promote but pressed demote so I re-promoted! In any case is now again as best in show! :-) Posted one year ago
    1. Haha no worries! Posted one year ago

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''Anacamptis coriophora'', the bug orchid, is a species of orchid.

Species identified by Thibaud Aronson
View Thibaud Aronson's profile

By Thibaud Aronson

All rights reserved
Uploaded Dec 14, 2018. Captured May 21, 2010 08:47 in Vico I Nazionale, 1B, 08030 Nurallao CA, Italy.
  • DMC-TZ7
  • f/4.0
  • 10/3200s
  • ISO80
  • 4.1mm