Ophrys insectifera 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Liliopsida Orchidales Orchidaceae

Scientific Name: Ophrys insectifera L.
Common Name(s):
English Fly Orchid , Insect Bearing Ophrys
Ophrys muscifera Hudson
Orchis muscaria Scop.
Orchis myodes (Jacq.) Bernhard
Orchis musciflora Schrank

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2011
Date Assessed: 2010-04-01
Assessor(s): Rankou, H.
Reviewer(s): Fay, M. & Bilz, M.
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.

Geographic Range [top]

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).

Countries occurrence:
Albania; Andorra; Austria; Belarus; Belgium; Bulgaria; Croatia; Czech Republic; Denmark; Estonia; Finland; France (France (mainland)); Germany; Greece (Greece (mainland)); Hungary; Ireland; Italy (Italy (mainland)); Latvia; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Moldova; Netherlands; Norway; Poland; Romania; Russian Federation (Central European Russia, East European Russia, North European Russia, Northwest European Russia); Slovakia; Slovenia; Spain (Baleares, Spain (mainland)); Sweden; Switzerland; Ukraine; United Kingdom (Great Britain)
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:4411735
Upper elevation limit (metres):1700
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]


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.

Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

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).


Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: There are no known uses.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

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

Conservation Actions [top]

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).

Citation: Rankou, H. 2011. Ophrys insectifera. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2011: e.T175957A7153465. . Downloaded on 26 April 2018.
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