A global citizen science platform
to discover, share and identify wildlife

Join Project Noah!

Fernald's cuckoo bumble bee

Bombus fernaldae

Description:

Male cuckoo bumble bee found resting on fireweed (Epilobium angustifolium) in the morning. Cuckoo bumble bees are cleptoparasites. The female (queen) will kill or subdue the queen of a well established bumble bee colony and forcibly (using pheromones and/or physical attacks) "enslave" the workers of that colony to feed her and her developing young. When her young emerge, they leave the colony to mate, and the females (new queens) seek out other nests to attack. Cuckoo bumble bees do not produce workers, only males and new queens. As such, they do not forage for the colony as a whole, just for themselves. Queen cuckoo bumble bees are often seen later in the season than other bumble bee queens, as they parasitize well-established bumble bee colonies. - some info from Wikipedia.

Habitat:

Fireweed, willow and small trees near Mendenhall Glacier, Juneau, AK.

Notes:

Cuckoo bumble bees were formerly categorized in the genus Psithyrus, but this grouping has now been sunk to sub-genus level within the genus Bombus.

Species ID Suggestions



Sign in to suggest organism ID

Comments

KristalWatrous
Spotted by
KristalWatrous

Alaska, USA

Lat: 58.50, Long: -134.53

Spotted on Jul 18, 2005
Submitted on Nov 1, 2011

Related Spottings

Bumblebee Bombus Bombus pascuorum Bombus argillaceus

Nearby Spottings

Alaskian Black Bear, Goin' On A Bear Hunt! Alaskian Flowers in Bloom Arctic Tern Hermit Thrush