bee orchid: ophrys scolopax, the woodcock orchid

i had certainly hoped to find another species of bee orchid here in denia (mainland spain), but i didn’t really expect to. all the happier about it, let me present the woodcock orchid (ophrys scolopax; de: Schnepfen-Ragwurz):

woodcock orchid (ophrys scolopax) - a bee orchid species

as previously explained, bee orchids trick male bees into thinking their flowers are females of their kind – e.g. by their colour patterns, the development of dense hair, and/or their scent. this makes their pollinators more likely to visit another flower of the same species, allowing for higher pollination success.

while the optical resemblance to bees is a lot more subtle in other species (which sometimes rely more strongly on ultraviolet patterns), it is very illustrative in ophrys scolopax.

woodcock orchid (ophrys scolopax) - a bee orchid species

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