John and Gerry's    Orchids of Britain and Europe
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Ophrys dyris x fusca

O. dyris was first described by Maire from the Atlas mountains of Morocco in 1931 and its name refers to  "Dyris" the name given by Pliny to the mountains of the Moroccan Atlas.

O. dyris is an uncommon member of the O. omegaifera group and belongs to a trio of species which reside in the western Mediterranean,  primarily in the Iberian peninsula where they have become isolated from their largely Aegean based cousins. The other two members are O. vasconica and O. algarvensis both of which  are believed to be the hybrid offspring of O. dyris and an indeterminate member of the O. fusca group. More examples of these hybridogenus taxons are now being described from Spain and Portugal.

O. dyris is a distinctive species and relatively easy to identify in the field due to the lack of a groove in the throat at the base of the lip. Occasional hybridization between this species and members of the O. fusca group is regularly (though not particularly commonly) recorded but where this occurs, the resultant offspring always possess a central groove in the lip (see pictures). Its strange therefore that O. algarvensis which is thought to be the result of the same but a more ancient union of the two taxons, does not have a groove.

O. dyris x fusca sl is an easily recognized hybrid which may be found wherever the progenitors ranges overlap and this covers a wide area of Spain, Portugal and North Africa. The accepted name for this hybrid is Ophrys x briggitae but in the Balearic islands a similar taxon of hybrid origin is being regarded as stable and referred to as O. funditorum. The pictures are from Malaga province and date from the second week of April.