alcon_blue's picture

Lucorum complex

Observed: 12th May 2010 By: alcon_bluealcon_blue’s reputation in Invertebratesalcon_blue’s reputation in Invertebratesalcon_blue’s reputation in Invertebratesalcon_blue’s reputation in Invertebrates
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Description:
Identifications
  •  
    Likely ID
    Bombus lucorum - B cryptarum
    Confidence: It might be this.
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Comments

Syrphus's picture

I was wondering how long we

I was wondering how long we would wait before this problem arose! A few months ago, life in this group was (relatively) simple: the B. lucorum group contained lucorum s.s. (a short, narrow tapering collar), magnus (a long, broad and widening collar) and cryptarum (intermediate length and breadth, but with a black 'S' near the end. It now seems certain that there are other species here in UK which are only separable by chemistry.

This specimen (with the 'nick') is not typical of any of the three we knew about before. There is speculation that it might be a southern form of cryptarum, or another species altogether.

Even the ultra-specialists are now only going to lucorum s.l., so I suggest we follow their example until the full story is told and we have a morphological distinction.

Murdo

TRY

recording wildlife with The Recorder's Year on www.hbrg.org.uk/TRY.html.

alcon_blue's picture

The picture I used for

The picture I used for identification on the BWARS website http://www.bwars.com/Bombus_lucorum_B_cryptarum.htm only had a "nick" rather than an S shape mark such as this http://www.biopix.com/Photo.asp?PhotoId=78151&Photo=Bombus-cryptarum does this mean the BWARS website is not necessarily correct about cryptarum?

Syrphus's picture

We just don't know exactly

We just don't know exactly where we are with this group, so it would be unfair to say that BWARS is wrong. There is clearly a very complex situation with these bees, and time will (we hope) clarify. The 'nick' may indicate a variant of cryptarum, or it may be a new cryptic species. What is need is clear correlation between the chemistry and the morphology, and that may be some time in coming.

M.

TRY

recording wildlife with The Recorder's Year on www.hbrg.org.uk/TRY.html.

Martin Harvey's picture

complexity

Thanks Murdo for the clear explanation of all this (well, you've made it as clear as the bees are allowing anyone to do!).

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Entomologist and biological recorder