Red-tailed Bumblebee - Bombus lapidarius

Scientific Name: Bombus lapidarius.

English Name: Red-tailed Bumblebee

French Name: Le Bourdon des pierres (='stone bumblebee').

5 Key Characters:
  • black with orange red tail which is less than 50% of the abdomen length (males also have yellow faces and yellow 'collars').
  • abdomen longer than wide.
  • a large bumblebee with a thick, neat velvety coat.
  • particularly fond of yellow flowers, especially Birdsfoot Trefoil, but also likes Scabious and Knapweed.
  • black hairs on the pollen basket on the hind leg.
Lookalikes: The much less common Red-shanked Carder Bumblebee Bombus ruderarius, which has a much shorter abdomen, red hairs on the pollen basket on the hind leg, and a scruffier coat.

Habitat: Found in many habitats, but especially open country. Nests underground or in wall cavities in open areas.

Flight Period: Queens are very visible searching for nests March-June.

Status: Common and widespread.

Photographed by Loire Valley Nature:

Photographs numbered from left to right and top to bottom. 1-2 Nest seeking queen in April. 3 - 6 queen foraging on Wild Mignonette Reseda lutea in our orchard, May.

No comments:

Post a Comment