Abstract. Devillers-Terschuren, J., Delforge, P. & Devillers, P.- Ophrys sphegodes Miller 1768, the correct name, and Ophrys aranifera Hudson 1778, a posterior synonym, do apply to the same species [Natural. belges 87 (Orchid. 19) (2006): 85-112]. The medio-European bee orchid which bears the vernacular name of Early Spider Orchid was described from England, first in 1768 by Philip Miller, then in 1778 by William Hudson. HudsonÕs name, Ophrys aranifera, was long in use until Camus and Camus (1928-1929) pointed out the priority of MillerÕs name, Ophrys sphegodes, which was formally adopted by So— (1959) and came into fairly universal use from the middle of the 20th Century onwards. Recently, proposals to return to O. aranifera have been made, based on suspicion that MillerÕs name had not been bestowed on the species it is currently attached to. Detailed examination of MillerÕs description and comments in the binominal Eighth Edition of his Gardeners Dictionary (1768), and mostly of their genesis in its predecessor, the Linnaean but non binominal, rarer, Seventh Edition (1759, 1764), demonstrates, without the shadow of a doubt that it is what is currently known as Ophrys sphegodes that Miller described. Thus, Ophrys sphegodes Miller 1768 is the correct name of the Early Spider Orchid, with a ten-year priority over Ophrys aranifera Hudson 1778. A neotype had been designated by Raynaud (1981), unfortunately selected in France, in a region of sympatry between O. sphegodes and a related species, and the identification of the neotype has been challenged. It is shown that although the neotype, deposited in Montpellier, probably represents the correct species, and therefore its selection is not in formal contradiction with MillerÕs protologue, it will always be impossible to dispel all doubts about its identity. An epitype is thus selected in the Herbarium of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, collected in England at Wye, Kent, within the populations of the North Downs, explicitly mentioned by Miller, who collected at Northfleet. Pre-Linnaean sources quoted by Miller and the history of O. aranifera Hudson and O. adrachnites Miller are discussed in the appendices.
Key words. Orchidaceae, Ophrys, Ophrys sphegodes Miller 1768, Ophrys adrachnites Miller 1768, Ophrys aranifera Hudson 1778.