Gypsy Cuckoo Bumblebee

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Gypsy-Cuckoo-bee-Bombus-bohemicusLatin Name: Bombus bohemicus (Seidl, 1837)

Classification:

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Arthropoda

Class: Insecta

Order: Hymenoptera

Family: Apidae

Subfamily: Apinae

Genus: Bombus

Size: 15-20mm

Identification: The females have one yellow band on the thorax and none on the abdomen. It has a white tail with small yellow side patches on either side. The males are similar but they have an extra yellow band forward of the abdomen. Short-tongued and the wings are usually dark-tinged.

Confusion Species: Vestal Cuckoo-bee (Bombus vestalis), where the patches are more distinct, almost forming a band. B. bohemicus is a shaggy-haired species compared to B. vestalis.

Biology: A cleptoparasitic bee of the nests of the White-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus lucorum).

When Seen: Females searching for hosts to parasitise are seen in April to May. Males and females on flowers in July and August.

Habitat: Many habitats, including gardens.

Distribution & Status: Generally found north of the border (opposed to Bombus vestalis which is found in the south) where it is a common and widespread species.

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