Content Author Object Flagger Flag Created Reason Resolved by Resolution
kastani Horned Orchid (Ophrys oestrifera) fateryga Sat, 30 Jan 2021 21:14:44 +0000

This is a synonym of Ophrys scolopax ssp. cornuta, please combine these two taxa, see the discussion at





This name was traditionally accepted by numerous authors (Wulff, 1930; Nevski, 1935; Smolyaninova, 1976; Baumann, Künkele, 1982; Renz, Taubenheim, 1984; Averyanov, 2006; Yena, 2012). However, recently, this approach was questioned (Govaerts et al., 2005–2018) by reducing it to the synonymy of O. apifera, with the name O. scolopax subsp. cornuta being used instead of O. oestrifera. This last point of view we consider incorrect, as it is not supported by the type material of O. oestrifera and is probably derived from the analysis of the protologue. The problem is that the protologue of O. oestrifera (Marschall von Bieberstein, 1808) had been based on the data on Ophrys systematics provided by Ch. von Steven, who understood taxa in a different way. Steven independently explained his point of view in detail a year later (Steven, 1809), where he accepted O. oestrifera and described two more species, O. cornuta and O. bremifera, providing them with schematic sketches of the flowers. Thus, if we study the sketches, it is not Steven’s drawing of O. oestrifera flower but rather the O. cornuta flower (Steven, 1809: Fig. 3), which corresponds to F. A. Marschall von Bieberstein’s type specimen of O. oestrifera. Steven’s drawing of O. oestrifera from Georgia (Steven, 1809: Fig. 4) shows characters intermediate between O. apifera (long and entire appendage of the lip) and O. oestrifera (short and straight appendage of the gynostemium) and may either depict some hybrid or represent an unsatisfactory mixture of the traits of various specimens within one flower. Steven also presented a drawing of what he had assumed to be a new species “closely related to O. oestrifera” (Steven, 1809: Fig. 5), and this last drawing depicts O. apifera, as it was already noticed by E. W. Wulff (1930). Steven’s determinations of herbarium specimens are in line with this: both O. oestrifera and O. apifera, collected by him in the Crimea, are named “O. oestrifera”. It should be noted that later Steven changed his point of view, which is evident from a detailed drawing of O. oestrifera (Steven, 1857: Fig. 2), which corresponds well to the type specimen of this species and to its modern understanding. By that time, he had “forgotten” about his O. cornuta and did not mention it in his publications (Wulff, 1930). D. S. Devey et al. (2008) placed O. oestrifera within O. apifera according to their molecular analysis. However, it was later reported by R. M. Bateman et al. (2018) that a misidentified vegetative sample of O. apifera had represented “O. oestrifera” in the tree of D. S. Devey et al. (2008).

At present, all taxonomists in Ophrys know that O. oestrifera is not a synonym of O. apifera. These two species belong to two different macrospecies: O. fuciflora and O. apifera, which are accepted by R.M. Bateman et al. in their recent papers (2018, 2020). They, however, accept just 9 species of Ophrys at all. "Splitters" who accept 360+ species of Ophrys are also familiar with O. oestrifera (they however can treat it as a species separated from O. cornuta but of course not a synonym of O. apifera).
So please accept either O. scopolax subsp. cornuta and reduce O. oestrifera to its synonym, or vise versa (perhaps first way is better for the system of the iNaturalist).
Anyway, the present crazy situation (both O. scopolax subsp. cornuta and O. oestrifera accepted here with photos of the same plants) should be corrected.

Posted by fateryga over 1 year ago (Flag)
Posted by abounabat over 1 year ago (Flag)

Thank you.

Posted by fateryga over 1 year ago (Flag)

@fatergya @abounabat I tried to commit the swap, but iNaturalist didn't allow me to commit it because O. oestrifera has subspecies. The only way to transfer it would be to de-activate the subspecies on iNaturalist. Since there are already observations on iNaturalist that are identified to the subspecies level, it might be better to preserve O. oestrifera and remove O. scolopax subsp. cornuta.

I personally agree that O. scolopax subsp. cornuta is preferable, but removing the subspecies of O. oestrifera might cause trouble if O. oestrifera is ever reinstated. Your thoughts?
@mercantour @kai_schablewski

Posted by catullus 10 months ago (Flag)

Well, if this is the only way, it is OK.

Posted by fateryga 10 months ago (Flag)

@catullus agree for O. scolopax subsp cornuta even if some won’t like the abandonment of oestrifera I guess. About it possible reinstatement we can’t do anything yet …

Posted by mercantour 10 months ago (Flag)

Swap proposed here as a draft :
Is it OK for all of you ?

Posted by abounabat 6 months ago (Flag)

Oh -- I thought we were changing O. oestrifera to O. scolopax ssp. cornuta, not the other way around?

Posted by catullus 6 months ago (Flag)

"iNaturalist didn't allow me to commit it because O. oestrifera has subspecies"
"it might be better to preserve O. oestrifera and remove O. scolopax subsp. cornuta"
They are your words...

Posted by abounabat 6 months ago (Flag)

Furthermore, the oestrifera group is often considered by orchidologists/botanists for grouping several Eastern species/subspecies. And when you know the typical Western O. scolopax, it is not shocking to group all the taxa into two separate complex entities : O. scolopax s.l. // O. oestrifera s.l.
In conclusion, I know that this grouping is not perfect, but the traditional grouping O. scolopax s.l. vs O. fuciflora is no more satisfying and has been proven to be artificial (phylogenetically incorrect).

Posted by abounabat 6 months ago (Flag)

Oh gotcha! Yeah, I think this swap makes the most sense. :)

Posted by catullus 6 months ago (Flag)

@mercantour @kai_schablewski @fateryga
Swap proposed here as a draft :
Is it OK for all of you ?

Posted by abounabat 6 months ago (Flag)

It is OK for me (although I am not completely sure that this is better than the other way around).

Posted by fateryga 6 months ago (Flag)

Ok for me

Posted by mercantour 6 months ago (Flag)

Now chaos has been created:
First, you made the accepted name Ophrys scolopax subsp. cornuta a synonym of Ophrys oestrifera.

The second problem is that only the subspecies Ophrys oestrifera subsp. cornutula is synonym of Ophrys scolopax subsp. cornuta. But you made Ophrys scolopax subsp. cornuta synonym of the SPECIES Ophrys oestrifera!!!

Now, if we want to do a taxon change in order to have the accepted name on iNat, we have to look at certain Ophrys oestrifera observations and re-ID them as Ophrys scolopax subsp. cornuta, because O. oestrifera has subspecies…

Posted by greek_cicada_project 5 months ago (Flag)

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