Thursday, July 9, 2009

Bumblebee taxonomy: not for bumblers.

I was poking around in a relative's garden in Vancouver today. By far the busiest spot was a lavender bush at the edge of the back porch. There were at least three types of bumblebee working there. One was the Yellow-faced Bumblebee, Bombus vosnesenskii.


Another was this one, which may be Bombus flavifrons, which translates to Yellow-fronted Bumblebee. Note the may be--I'm not confident about the ID.

Then there was this all-over lemon-yellow, very furry individual. She was fast-moving, and I had to go back and forth over the porch railing to track her down. Online bumblebee identification schemes have not worked. She is, for now, a mystery bee. (Help?) Another photo below:

Bombus incognito.


3 comments:

swamp4me said...

Bumblebees are maddening, aren't they? I peer at a bee, then peer at the key and then just scratch my head and take my best guess -- most of the time I just settle for "it's some sort of bumblebee..."

Hugh said...

Swampy, yes, because the online visual keys seem at first so straightforward. I'm far from a rookie at keying out arthropods, but bumblers are humblers.

spinyurchin said...

Oh, man, you don't even know...
Is it so hard for them to wear name tags?