Ophrys x medaglii, un nuovo ibrido naturale del Salento


Mediterranean orchids of subtribe Orchidinae show an high species diversity and display a range of fascinating pollination strategies. In this context it can be found a great number of cases where the orchid-pollinator relationships, such as in most of the food deceptive strategies, are not speciesspecific (SCHIESTL, 2005). Instead, as in the case of the Mediterranean Ophrys L. genus, a sexual deceptive group, a compilation of pollinator information for European orchid by VAN DER CINGEL (1995) suggest a close correlation between orchid and its pollinator. In Ophrys, in fact, has been shown that, the orchid flower mimics, by scent and visual cues, the female partner of particular pollinators (KULLEMBERG, 1961; SCHIESTL, 2005). These Biological Active Compounds are the key signal to attract the pollinators, are similar to the sex pheromone produced by the females of pollinator insects (SCHIESTL et al., 1999; AYASSE et al., 2003; SCHIESTL, 2003) and thus they stimulate the pseudo-copulation. This phenomenon lead to the removal of the pollinaria that become attached to the male’s body and then transfered during other visits (on other flowers of the same species). This high specificity leads to high efficiency of the reproductive system that allows plants to have an increase of outcrossing, as a consequence that the pollinator leave the patch after a pseudo-copulation without reward (PEACKALL and BEATTIE, 1996). These features unlike the food deception (COZZOLINO et al., 2004; COZZOLINO and SCOPECE, 2008) accounts for prezygotic isolation (PAULUS and GACK, 1990) and post-mating barriers are often lacking (EHRENDORFER, 1980). In fact, a mistake derived from the inability to pollinator’s discrimination in the B.A.C. of different (related) species, in addition to the lack of post-mating barriers, has important consequences for speciation in sexually deceptive orchids. The hybrids derived from these events can produce B.A.C. novelties and thus can attract new pollinator species, promoting speciation processes. Here we describe the result of this process as a new Orchidaceae’s hybrid species, belong to Ophrys genus, named Ophrys x medaglii Turco, Ruggiero, Gennaio & D’Emerico through analysis of morphological aspects. The parental species of O. x medaglii are Ophrys bombyliflora Link and Ophrys candica (E. Nelson ex Soò) H. Baumann & Künkele. Ophrys x medaglii was found in three distinct areas: in macchie di S.Cataldo, near San Cataldo (Le), in Macchia della Masseria Zanzara near Veglie (Le) and in Torre Colimena (Ta).

DOI Code: 10.1285/i15910725v34p25

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