This orchid grows in grassy and stony places and sometimes can be found in open woodland. It seldom grows to more than 45cm in height and carries between 3 and 8 flowers on each spike. It is the dark, almost black, velvety lip with its shiny speculum that makes the flower so attractive. The sepals and petals are a lovely shade of pale pink, sometimes tinged or marked with green - see below.
This orchid grows side-by-side with Ophrys Bertoloniiformis which is very similar except that the sepals and petals of O.bertoloniiformis are entirely greenish-brown in colour
This orchid was named after a nineteenth century Italian botanist, Antonio Bertoloni, and it can be found throughout much of Italy as well as in Spain and eastwards towards former Yugoslavia.
These specimens were photographed close to Monte Sant'Angelo in the Gargano Peninsula in Italy in mid April.