nigelmottram's picture

Bees

Observed: 14th July 2009 By: nigelmottramnigelmottram’s reputation in Invertebrates
P7142593
Description:

Various bees observed on Scalpay in July.

Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which a hoverfly (Eristalis intricarius) interacts

Comments

Martin Harvey's picture

Two bees or not two bees?

The insect on the left is one of the carder bees - if I'd seen it here in Buckinghamshire it would be Bombus pascuorum, but in the Hebrides you're lucky enough to have Bombus muscorum as well, and these two can be very hard to tell apart. You have to see if there are any black hairs hiding among the gingery ones on the abdomen, which is really a microscope job.

I think the insect on the right is actually a hoverfly, one of the ones that imitates a bumblebee, and it's doing a pretty good job of it here! There are several hoverflies that look like bumblebees, but I think I can see some pale colour on the legs, and would suggest Eristalis intricarius as the species. It's a hoverfly because it has only one pair of wings (two pairs in bees), and short, stubby antennae (longer and thinner in bees).

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Entomologist and biological recorder