Iris003's picture

Gypsy cuckoo bumble

Observed: 2nd August 2009 By: Iris003Iris003’s reputation in InvertebratesIris003’s reputation in InvertebratesIris003’s reputation in Invertebrates
Field cuckoo? 02
Field cuckoo 03
Field cuckoo? 01

Can't see pollen bags on back legs. Distinctive white "shoulders" - but can't find any bumbles that match. Male Field cuckoo seems to vary wildly. Is it one of these?

Species interactions

No interactions present.


Martin Harvey's picture

Cuckoo bumblebee

Well done for picking this out as a cuckoo bumblebee, and I agree that it looks like a male (e.g. antennae look relatively long, which is one of the signs that it is a male).

The English names for bumblebees can get a bit confusing, as different books and websites use different versions of them. When you say Field Cuckoobee do you mean Bombus campestris? I would expect that to be a bit yellower than your photo shows, and I think what you've got here is either Bombus vestalis or Bombus bohemicus. Where I live in Buckinghamshire I only see B. vestalis, but B. bohemicus is more frequent further north. These two are hard to tell apart - for the males, one way of distinguishing them is to look at the antennal segments. In B. vestalis segment 3 is shorter than segment 5, while in B. bohemicus they are similar lengths. I can't quite see enough detail in your photos to decide on this one.

Entomologist and biological recorder

Iris003's picture

Field Cuckoo Bee

Dear Martin, they certainly are confusing! In our book it says it's a Gypsy Cuckoo Bee, how many names are there for this type?


Iris003's picture

Thanks Matt

Dear Matt, thank you for your ID, we found a pic of a field cuckoo bee and we agree with your identification.