Bombus borealis Kirby, 1837
  Apoidea   Apidae   Bombus
Subgenus: Subterraneobombus

Bombus borealis FEM -
© Copyright Laurence Packer 2014 · 7
Bombus borealis FEM -

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Bombus borealis MALE f
© Copyright Laurence Packer 2014 · 7
Bombus borealis MALE f

Bombus borealis
Tom Murray · 1
Bombus borealis

Bombus borealis
Tom Murray · 1
Bombus borealis

Bombus borealis, Barcode of Life Datat Systems
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Bombus borealis, Barcode of Life Datat Systems

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queen front

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queen front top

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queen top

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queen rear

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queen rear tip

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queen side

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worker front

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worker side

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worker rear tip

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worker rear

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worker front top

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worker top

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male front

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male front top

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male top

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male side

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male rear

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male rear tip
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IDnature guides
Reprinted with permission from: Mitchell, T.B. 1962 Bees of the Eastern United States. North Carolina Agricultural Experiment Station Technical Bulletin No. 152.

QUEEN—Length 18-22 mm., breadth of abdomen 9-9.5 mm.; black, apical tarsal segments becoming somewhat more brownish-piceous, spurs and tegulae black to piceous; wings uniformly but rather lightly infuscated, veins testaceous to black; pubescence rather short but dense, largely pale on head, quite copious above clypeus and around antennae where it is nearly white, with a few dark hairs at each extreme side, pale yellow on vertex and occiput, with a few black hairs laterally, largely fuscous on cheeks, becoming elongate below; pubescence bright yellow on pronotum, tubercles, anterior margin of scutum, entire scutellum, and abdominal terga 1-4, black on propodeum, legs, posterior two- thirds of scutum and terga 5 and 6, that on pleura becoming somewhat more brownish-fuscous anteriorly and below; hind basitarsus and the more apical segments of the other legs with very fine, appressed, pale tomentum which does not quite obscure the surface; corbicular fringe of black, elongate hairs; lateral and upper margins of clypeus quite closely and finely punctate; the broad median area largely shining and impunctate; labrum shining, broadly truncate, with a low basal ridge on each side, broadly concave medially, with scattered, very minute punctures; apical margin of mandible with a pair of low teeth toward the upper angle, otherwise broadly rounded, outer face rather smooth, shining, punctures exceedingly minute, hardly evident; malar space smooth and shining, somewhat longer than basal width of mandibles, punctures exceedingly minute and hardly evident; length of eye about three and a half times that of malar space; punctures of face medially very fine and close, but distinct, becoming somewhat more sparse toward ocelli, space between lateral ocelli and eyes shining and largely impunctate; vertex finely and densely punctate medially, becoming somewhat more distinctly punctate laterally but still close; lateral ocelli slightly nearer eyes than to each other, and slightly nearer each other than to margin of vertex; antennal scape somewhat more than half the total length of flagellum, basal segment of flagellum considerably longer than segment 3 which is slightly longer than 2; posterior margin of hind basitarsus very slightly curved, apex very slightly narrower than median area; tergum 6 narrowly rounded apically, surface obscurely roughened, without distinct punctures.

WORKER—Length 13 mm., breadth of abdomen 6.5 mm.; resembles queen except in size.

MALE—Length 14-17 mm., breadth of abdomen 6.5-7 mm.; black, legs somewhat reddened apically, apical tarsal segments more brownish-piceous; tegulae, and mid and hind spurs, brownish-piceous; wings uniformly but rather lightly infuscated, veins testaceous to piceous; pubescence in general quite long and copious, largely black around antennae and on face below, but with some shorter, greyish, densely plumose hairs beneath; vertex medially and occiput with elongate yellow hairs, erect and black on vertex laterally, and largely blackish or fuscous on cheeks, becoming very long beneath; pubescence yellow on pronotum, tubercles, anterior margin of scutum, entire scutellum and abdominal terga 1-4, largely black on posterior two-thirds of scutum, pleura, propodeum and legs, but pleura with intermixed pale hairs anteriorly and below, and coxae, trochanters and femora with considerable pale pubescence; abdominal terga 5 and 6 black pubescent toward base but with considerable yellow apically, tergum 7 with rather elongate black pubescence; clypeus very finely and rather closely punctate in general, median apical area becoming shining, with very minute, hardly evident punctures; Iabrum smooth and shining, apical margins slightly incurved over the median area, with a few scattered, irregular punctures medially, lateral areas impunctate and somewhat convex, median line slightly impressed; mandibles quite slender, distinctly bidentate apically, outer surface densely yellowish tomentose, fringed on lower margin with rather elongate, fuscous hairs; malar space smooth and shining, without distinct punctures, much longer than basal width of mandible, and about one- third that of eye; face very finely and closely punctate medially beneath the rather dense pubescence, becoming somewhat more coarse and sparse toward ocelli, space between ocelli and eyes shining and with only scattered, obscure punctures; vertex finely and closely punctate medially, becoming somewhat smoother and more minutely punctate laterally; basal segment of flagellum slightly longer than segment 2, somewhat shorter than 3; hind tibiae somewhat flattened, shining and sparsely punctate on outer surface, the hairs very short and entirely black; apical width of hind basitarsus very slightly less than median width; genital armature as shown (fig. 130).

DISTRIBUTION—Southern Canada and the adjacent areas of the United States, May to September.

FLOWER RECORDS — Brittain and Newton (1933) record borealis on Pyrus malus.

Often confused with B.fervidus. Told apart primarily by the hair on the face. B. fervidus males and females have entirely black hairs and B. borealis have substantial amounts of yellow hair, usually the hairs above the ocelli are entirely yellow. Note that B.fervidus can have substanitial amount of short plumose yellow hairs intermixed with the longer black hairs above the antennae.

Hair on mesepisturnum almost entirely black in B. borealis while B. fervidus has substantial yellow dorsally, but be aware that black hairs extend at least half way up in most individuals.

Scientific source:

Supported by
Hosts · map
FamilyScientific name @ source (records)
Apiaceae  Zizia aurea @ AMNH_BEE (1)
Asteraceae  Arctium @ AMNH_BEE (1)

Aster laevis @ AMNH_BEE (1)

Cirsium arvense @ UCRC_ENT (1)

Cirsium undulatum @ AMNH_BEE (14)

Grindelia squarrosa @ AMNH_BEE (1)

Lactuca pulchella @ AMNH_BEE (1)

Petasites frigidus @ AMNH_BEE (1)

Prenanthes @ UCRC_ENT (1)

Solidago rigida @ AMNH_BEE (2)

Solidago rugosa @ UCRC_ENT (1)

Solidago @ AMNH_BEE (1); UCRC_ENT (1)

Sonchus arvensis @ AMNH_BEE (1)

Symphyotrichum lanceolatum @ AMNH_BEE (2)

Tanacetum vulgare @ EMEC (1)

Taraxacum campylodes @ AMNH_BEE (2)

Taraxacum officinale @ AMNH_BEE (2)
Boraginaceae  Hydrophyllum virginianum @ AMNH_BEE (2)

Onosmodium occidentale @ AMNH_BEE (1)
Fabaceae  Lathyrus venosus @ AMNH_BEE (2)

Medicago sativa @ AMNH_BEE (3)

Melilotus albus @ EMEC (7)

Melilotus sp @ BBSL (7)

Trifolium pratense @ AMNH_BEE (14)

Trifolium @ UCRC_ENT (4); AMNH_BEE (4)

Vicia sp @ BBSL (1)
Lamiaceae  Dracocephalum parviflorum @ AMNH_BEE (1)

Monarda fistulosa @ AMNH_BEE (1)

Physostegia parviflora @ AMNH_BEE (3)

Stachys palustris @ AMNH_BEE (7)
Linaceae  Linum usitatissimum @ AMNH_BEE (1)
Malvaceae  Alcea @ EMEC (6)
Rosaceae  Rosa @ AMNH_BEE (1)

Rubus strigosus @ AMNH_BEE (1)
Salicaceae  Salix @ AMNH_BEE (1)
Verbenaceae  Verbena hastata @ AMNH_BEE (1)

Updated: 2018-12-18 13:30:10 gmt
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