Tuesday 7 June 2011

Bombus cryptarum - 'Cryptic' Bumble Bee

I'm glad someone pointed out this Bumble Bee on yesterday's ramble because it prompted me to go and do a bit of bumble bee study, an area completely new to me. I posted the photo on a couple of wildlife forums and have had it identified by several experts as Bombus cryptarum, a recently separated species from Bombus lucorum (White-tailed Bumble Bee). The black nick in its collar is the key (where wing meets body), otherwise this species is apparently nigh impossible to differentiate from lucorum. The NBN gateway shows that this species is almost entirely restricted to Scotland, but there are no records for Islay or Jura, so could this be a first?

1 comment:

  1. This species was only separated in 2005 and no-one to my knowledge has looked critically at the bumblebees with white tails on Islay since then. So, yes, it is the first record, though it is quite likely that some of the past records of what were formerly called leucorum may be of this new species.