In late April 2010 I visited the Gargano Peninsula with Bob Gibbons and his botanicle group. This is a fantastic place for wildlife, being a huge limestone area that is little touched by modern farming pratices, and is particularly good for the wild flowers. Below is a small selection of pictures that I took on my trip.

 

Above Orchids and Iris's on a Gargano hillside, a spectacular display like this stops you in your tracks. Below the Roman Marsh Orchid Dactylorhiza romana that is a common orchid on many hillsides and open wooldlands areas.

 

Above and below Ophrys bertolonii an orchid that was far from common.

 

Above The Sawfly Orchid Ophrys tenthredinifera is one of the most attractive orchids I have seen. This orchid was fairly frequently seen, whereas we only found oneplant of the rare and endemic Ophrys sipontensis (below).

 

 

Below Ophrys parvimsculata  is another rariety that I found along a woodland ride. This is another species that is endemic to the Gargarno area.

 

Above is Ophrys bisutella that was frequently seen, and although perhaps not as showy as some, still a very attractive orchid. Below Ophrys apulica is a very striking orchid that was plentyful in some locations.

 

Above a Green-winged Orchid, Orchis papilionacea that was common in several places we visited. Below a hillside with hundreds of Naked Man Orchids Orchis italica.

Above Man and Naked Man orchids on a hillside, and below a hybrid between the them.

 

One lightly wooded area near Chianate had good displays of wild flowers in the clearings, above Blue Flax, and below hundreds of wild Pansies.

 

Butterflies like the Southern Festoon (above), and moths like the Cream Spotted Tiger Moth (below), were rather scarce, our visit being rather too early in the season for the bulk of these insects to be on the wing.

 

 

Several Scprpions were found under rocks and logs, and Wall Lizards were fairly common, the one below jumped up and caught a Swallowtail butterfly as it flew close to a wall.

 

One European Turancula spider was found on a hillside.

                                                                        ------------