miked's picture

_MG_9016 bee

Observed: 19th June 2011 By: miked
iSpot team
miked’s reputation in Invertebratesmiked’s reputation in Invertebratesmiked’s reputation in Invertebratesmiked’s reputation in Invertebrates
_MG_9016
_MG_9016 1
Description:
Identifications
  •  
    Likely ID
    Cuckoo Bumble Bee (Bombus bohemicus/vestalis)
    Confidence: I'm as sure as I can be.
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Comments

miked's picture

Is there a way to tell

Is there a way to tell between the two?

Ardea's picture

bohemicus/vestalis

They can't be safely separated as they are very variable, although female and male vestalis has richer more extensive yellow tail flashes. Males cam be positively ID'd antennal segment 3 = the length of 5 (bohemicus) and antennal segment 3 is shorter than 5 (vestalis). So you need a very good look, very good photos of the antenna or a specimen, you can also check males with a hand lens in the field - males don't have a sting. Don’t try this unless you confident you have a male!

miked's picture

see extra photo, can you see

see extra photo, can you see enough to tell on this one?

Ardea's picture

Sorry Mike

The fault in the frame covers the critical end of segment three. If it's any consolation I was photographing Bumbles in the garden only last week and a cuckoo flew into view. It wasn't until the third or fourth shot that I realised how extensive the yellow was on its tail. If confirmed this would have been the most northerly confirmed vestalis in the UK. We have quite a few historical records in Fife but not a single specimen to support any of the IDs. My photos were good-very good but no clear shot of the base of the antenna!@##!!! Sadly, no net or pot to hand and before I could grab it off it flew. We have checked dozens of males over the years, and so far every one was bohemicus - so it's the one that got away.

miked's picture

You know you can click on the

You know you can click on the image and then click on the writing below the image to see it at full size (2000 pixels across)?
if its the base of the antenna that is needed too then will check through other shots to see if i have this as well.

Ardea's picture

Yes, I know but it's not

Yes, I know but it's not clear enough. Sorry