foxy's picture

Bombus muscorum or humilis ?

Observed: 9th August 2012 By: foxyfoxy’s reputation in Invertebratesfoxy’s reputation in Invertebratesfoxy’s reputation in Invertebratesfoxy’s reputation in Invertebrates

I saw this bee on S E coast of Ireland ,B.muscorum is known on site and B. humilis is not known from Ireland .The muscorum specimens I usually find are darker than this one . Any thoughts anyone please !IRE

Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Common Carder-bee (Bombus pascuorum) interacts


Limnoporus's picture

Murdo, Confused and worried by your id

Cannot see why this isnt a muscorum, but a pale one. But have no experience of humilis. However I do know there are very small workers of pascuorum which are grey haired. But judging by the plant, this individual isnt one of these. Can you direct us to a picture of these muscorum like pascuorum?

Syrphus's picture

I can't give you a picture

I can't give you a picture offhand, but my experience of muscorum in Scotland is that the key field feature is a gaster that is markedly pale-haired - typically silvery. This pic shows nothing of that, but shows the rather browny hairs that I associate with pascuorum. Having said that, I would never use this pic to make a record that would reach any database with a specific ID. I have had many pascuorum (Q, w, m), and not just from Scotland where they are paler on average anyway, with no discernable black hairs, so you have to fall back on anatomy (genital capsule or antennae in males, sting sheath in females) to be certain.



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Matt Smith's picture


I'll agree with Syrphus on this one, really the best that can be said from this photo is "Carder Bee' species, though I would expect both of the two "uncommon" species to appear more "yellow" on the sides of the thorax.

This one looks like a slightly faded individual, so even if it were either B.humilis or B.muscorum the "brown band" may not be apparent. I have seen a lot of B.humilis in the field and, while you can usually differentiate them from "typical" B.pascuorum, the only real way to separate them from B.muscorum is with a voucher specimen.

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foxy's picture


Thanks to you all ,will leave at Carder bee for my own records .If any of you have a minute can you look at this post ,have it in freezer until I get it to someone with a microscope