Abstract. Devillers, P. & Devillers-Terschuren, J.- The type of Ophrys eleonorae [Natural. belges 81 (Orchid. 13) (2000): 323-330 + 4 figs]. Ophrys eleonorae is a species of the O. iricolor group, described from Sardinia in 1991. It has been recently suggested, without consultation of the type material, that the binomial applies to hybrids between that species and a species of the O. fusca group, rather than to the species itself. The note aims at dispelling this abusive interpretation. The type of O. eleonorae (Pl. 8 p. 200) was collected on 29 April 1986 from a homogeneous population of 15 individuals. It has all the characters of pure specimens of the taxon, none of those of likely hybrids. There is thus no doubt that O. eleonorae is, at the species rank, the correct name of the Sardinian member of the O. iricolor group and cannot be applied to its hybrids with other taxa. The note further summarises the differential characters of O. eleonorae within the group of O. iricolor, and argues that comparative coherence in the treatment of the group, taking into account the relative level of morphological divergence as well as the probable cladistic relationships between its members, imposes to regard O. eleonorae as a distinct species, alongside O. mesaritica, O. vallesiana, O. astypalaeica, rather than as a subspecies of O. iricolor.
Key-words: Orchidaceae, genus Ophrys, Ophrys eleonorae, Italy, Sardinia.