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Bombus melanopygus Nylander, 1848
Bombus menestriesii Radoszkowski, 1860, possible synonymy; Bombus lacustris Cresson, 1863; Bremus melanopygus var washingtonensis Frison, 1926; Bombus edwardsii Cresson, 1878; Bombus melampygus Handlirsch, 1888; Bombus lapponicus var insularis_homonym Friese, 1924

Life   Insecta   Hymenoptera   Apoidea   Apidae   Bombus
Subgenus: Pyrobombus

Bombus melanopygus FEM mm - f
© Copyright Laurence Packer 2014 · 7
Bombus melanopygus FEM mm - f

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Bombus melanopygus MALE mm - f
© Copyright Laurence Packer 2014 · 7
Bombus melanopygus MALE mm - f
Bombus melanopygus, Black-tailed Bumble Bee
© Copyright John Ascher, 2006-2014 · 6
Bombus melanopygus, Black-tailed Bumble Bee

Bombus melanopygus, f, face, san francisco, ca ---.
© Copyright source/photographer · 5
Bombus melanopygus, f, face, san francisco, ca ---.
Bombus melanopygus, back, f, Mariposa CA ---.
© Copyright source/photographer · 5
Bombus melanopygus, back, f, Mariposa CA ---.

Bombus melanopygus, face, f, Mariposa CA ---.
© Copyright source/photographer · 5
Bombus melanopygus, face, f, Mariposa CA ---.
Bombus melanopygus, right, f, Mariposa CA ---.
© Copyright source/photographer · 5
Bombus melanopygus, right, f, Mariposa CA ---.

Bombus melanopygus, back, f, Mariposa CA ---.
© Copyright source/photographer · 5
Bombus melanopygus, back, f, Mariposa CA ---.
Bombus melanopygus, right, f, Mariposa CA ---.
© Copyright source/photographer · 5
Bombus melanopygus, right, f, Mariposa CA ---.

Bombus melanopygus, Black-tailed Bumble Bee
© Copyright John Ascher, 2006-2014 · 4
Bombus melanopygus, Black-tailed Bumble Bee
Bombus melanopygus, Black-tailed Bumble Bee
© Copyright John Ascher, 2006-2014 · 4
Bombus melanopygus, Black-tailed Bumble Bee

Bombus melanopygus, Black-tailed Bumble Bee
© Copyright Sheryl Pollock 2011 · 3
Bombus melanopygus, Black-tailed Bumble Bee
Bombus melanopygus, Black-tailed Bumble Bee
© Copyright Sheryl Pollock 2011 · 3
Bombus melanopygus, Black-tailed Bumble Bee

Bombus melanopygus, Black-tailed Bumble Bee
© Copyright Sheryl Pollock 2011 · 3
Bombus melanopygus, Black-tailed Bumble Bee
Bombus melanopygus, Black-tailed Bumble Bee
© Copyright Sheryl Pollock 2011 · 3
Bombus melanopygus, Black-tailed Bumble Bee

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male front
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Overview
Extracted from Jonathan Koch, James Strange,Paul Williams.2012. Bumble Bees of the Western United States. A product of the U.S. Forest Service and the Pollinator Partnership with funding from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation

Black tail bumble bee

Status: Common

Select food plant genera: Lupinus, Trifolium, Chamerion, Rubus, Senecio, Penstemon

Tongue Length: Medium

Distribution: Pacific coast east to the Colorado Rocky Mountains; dark color form (B. melanopygus edwardsii) found primarily in California and southern Oregon; red form (B. melanopygus melanopygus) found to the north and east

Can be confused with B. sylvicola, B. bifarius, B. rufocinctus, and B. huntii

Thorax anterior to black band between wing bases distinctly clouded, scutellum yellow sometimes divided by a black posteriorly directed triangle, T1 yellow, T2-3 orange or black, T4-5 yellow at least laterally or with black hair intermixed (clouded). Face square.

Mid leg basitarsus with the distal posterior corner rounded. Cheek length as long as broad. Hair of the face and top of head predominately yellow with black intermixed. On the side of the thorax, the lower anterior surface with long, predominantly yellow hair, corbicular fringes red and black. Hair length medium and uneven.


Identification
Extracted from Bumble Bees and Cuckoo Bumble Bees of California by Thorp, R. (1983).

Bombus melanopygus edwardsii
Discussion. B. edwardsii belongs to the group of species which includes A. melanopygus, mtxtus, sitkensb, and sytvicola, and is most closely related to 5. melanopygus. It differs from melanopygus in having black, not red, hairs on metasomal terga 2 and 3. In color pattern, J?, edwardsii most closely resembles £. bf/arius ("nearcticus" populations) and mtxtus. It differs from btfartus in having the scutellum entirely yellow and not interrupted by a broad V-shaped notch. It differs from mtxtus females in having black hair on the last two tergites instead of reddish or golden hairs. The males are easily separated, because the males of mixtus have unique brush-like fringes of hair on the inner faces of the basal antennal flagellomeres. This species is remarkably uniform in color pattern, but may intergrade with B. melanopygus (see discussion under that species). We have encountered 5 nests of this species. Three taken in Berkeley and El Cerrito were above ground (1.8 to 12.2 m) in old bird nests. Two oth¨ers (near Pope Valley, Napa Co., and near Santa Margarita, San Luis Obispo Co.) were underground in old rodent burrows. Nest associates included Vobtcetta larvae (Syrphidae) (Pope Valley) and Cratldus adults (Tenebrionidae) (Santa Margarita), the latter probably only incidental.


Bombus melanopygus
Discussion. B. melanopygus belongs to the group of species which includes B. edwardsii* mixtus, sitkensis, and sytvkota* and is most closely related to B. edwardsii. It differs from edwardsii in having red instead of black hair on metasomal tergites 2 and 3 and usually having black instead of yellow hair on tergites 4 and 5. In color pattern it looks most like B. huntii and the Great Basin color form of California B. syivi-cola. It differs from both in having black hairs intermixed among the yellow hairs of the anterior scutum, which give the area a clouded appearance. The principal color variation occurs in the amount of yellow hair replacing the black hair on metasomal tergites 4 and 5. An increase in yellow on these tergites is often accompanied by a decrease in the number of black hairs intermixed on the anterior scutum. The resulting extreme looks like an edwardsU with red instead of black hair on tergites 2 and 3. Occasional males of this form are found in areas where edwardsU is abun¨dant and no females of melanopygus have been taken. These two taxa may be conspecific color forms. The area of overlap, northern California and west central Oregon, between edwardsU and melano¨pygus needs to be looked at more critically for signs of intergradation. The nest biology of B. melanopygus is described by Johansen (1967) and Hobbs (1967b). Johansen (1967) found 11 of 14 colonies in surface nest boxes, which coincides with our observations on the above-ground nesting tendencies in B. edward¨sU. However, Hobbs (1967b) found four nests underground or at least with the entrance tunnel leading underground. The larvae of a sarcophagid fly, Brachkoma, fed on larvae and pupae of this bumble bee, and were considered the most destruc¨tive parasites found by Johansen (1967).

Names
Scientific source:

Supported by

Hosts · map
FamilyScientific name @ source (records)
Adoxaceae  Viburnum @ UCRC_ENT (1)
Anacardiaceae  Malosma laurina @ CSCA (3)

Rhus integrifolia @ EMEC (2)

Rhus trilobata @ UCRC_ENT (1)

Rhus @ EMEC (1)
Apocynaceae  Asclepias speciosa @ UCRC_ENT (1)
Asteraceae  Achillea millefolium @ BBSL (1)

Anaphalis margaritacea @ BBSL (1)

Artemisia @ LACM_ENTB (3)

Aster sp @ BBSL (2)

Baccharis salicifolia @ UCRC_ENT (1)

Carduus pycnocephalus @ BBSL (3)

Centaurea maculosa @ BBSL__JPS (1)

Centaurea sp @ BBSL (1)

Chaenactis sp @ BBSL (1)

Chaenactis @ EMEC (3)

Chrysothamnus sp @ BBSL__JPS (1)

Cirsium occidentale @ UCRC_ENT (1)

Cirsium sp @ BBSL (4)

Cirsium @ AMNH_BEE (1); LACM_ENTB (2)

Coreopsis grandiflora @ BBSL (1)

Coreopsis lanceolata @ UCRC_ENT (3)

Coreopsis @ UCRC_ENT (3)

Encelia farinosa @ UCRC_ENT (3)

Ericameria linearifolia @ EMEC (53)

Erigeron speciosus @ BBSL (3)

Eriophyllum @ EMEC (3)

Helianthus @ LACM_ENTB (1); EMEC (1)

Hypochaeris radicata @ EMEC (1)

Lasthenia @ EMEC (1)

Layia elegans @ UCRC_ENT (1)

Layia glandulosa @ EMEC (6); UCRC_ENT (1)

Layia platyglossa @ UCRC_ENT (1); BBSL (1)

Layia @ UCRC_ENT (4)

Leucanthemum √ósuperbum @ BBSL (1)

Microseris nutans @ BBSL (2)

Phalacroseris bolanderi @ UCRC_ENT (1)

Senecio integerrimus @ BBSL (2)

Senecio lugens @ UCRC_ENT (6)

Senecio @ UCRC_ENT (1)

Silybum marianum @ BBSL (1)

Taraxacum officinale @ BBSL (3)

Taraxacum vulgare @ EMEC (2)

Wyethia sp @ BBSL (1)

Wyethia @ UCRC_ENT (1); AMNH_BEE (4)
Berberidaceae  Berberis aquifolium @ AMNH_BEE (1)

Berberis vulgaris @ UCRC_ENT (4)

Mahonia aquifolium @ AMNH_BEE (3)
Bignoniaceae  Chilopsis linearis @ UCRC_ENT (2)
Boraginaceae  Amsinckia douglasiana @ UCRC_ENT (4)

Amsinckia menziesii @ EMEC (2)

Amsinckia @ EMEC (11)

Cryptantha intermedia @ UCRC_ENT (1)

Cryptantha @ UCRC_ENT (1); EMEC (1)

Eriodictyon californicum @ LACM_ENTB (20); UCRC_ENT (1); EMEC (2)

Eriodictyon crassifolium @ UCRC_ENT (3)

Eriodictyon trichocalyx @ UCRC_ENT (9)

Eriodictyon @ EMEC (1); AMNH_BEE (8)

Hydrophyllum @ EMEC (2)

Myosotis laxa @ BBSL (6)

Phacelia mutabilis @ EMEC (2)

Phacelia ramosissima @ LACM_ENTB (1)

Phacelia @ UCRC_ENT (1); EMEC (8); AMNH_BEE (2)

Plagiobothrys @ EMEC (8)
Brassicaceae  Barbarea orthoceras @ UCRC_ENT (1)

Brassica rapa @ LACM_ENTB (1)

Brassica @ EMEC (2)

Erysimum 'Bowles @ I_LKD (2)

Erysimum sp @ BBSL (1)

Raphanus sativus @ EMEC (1)

Raphanus @ LACM_ENTB (1)

Sisymbrium officinale @ BBSL (1)

Streptanthus tortuosus @ UCRC_ENT (1)
Caprifoliaceae  Lonicera @ AMNH_BEE (3)

Symphoricarpos albus @ BBSL (2)

Symphoricarpos sp @ BBSL (1)
Caryophyllaceae  Arenaria capillaris @ BBSL (1)

Arenaria congesta @ BBSL__MOSCOW (1); BBSL (1)
Cleomaceae  Peritoma arborea @ EMEC (1)
Clusiaceae  Hypericum perforatum @ BBSL (1)
Crassulaceae  Sedum divergens @ BBSL (1)
Ericaceae  Arbutus menziesii @ EMEC (5)

Arctostaphylos columbiana @ BBSL (1)

Arctostaphylos glauca @ UCRC_ENT (2); EMEC (1)

Arctostaphylos hooveri @ EMEC (1)

Arctostaphylos manzanita @ EMEC (5)

Arctostaphylos nevadensis @ EMEC (2)

Arctostaphylos patula @ EMEC (8)

Arctostaphylos sp @ BBSL__JPS (1); BBSL (8)

Arctostaphylos viscida @ EMEC (26)

Arctostaphylos @ EMEC (54); UCRC_ENT (1); EMEC_JPS__JPS (1); AMNH_BEE (2)

Comarostaphylis @ EMEC (1)

Gaultheria shallon @ BBSL (2)

Phyllodoce empetriformis @ BBSL__MOSCOW (1)

Rhododendron macrophyllum @ BBSL (1)

Rhododendron occidentale @ UCRC_ENT (5); EMEC (2)

Rhododendron sp @ BBSL__JPS (1)

Rhododendron @ EMEC (1)

Sarcodes sanguinea @ UCRC_ENT (2)

Vaccinium @ EMEC (25)
Fabaceae  Astragalus sp @ BBSL (1)

Astragalus trichopodus @ UCRC_ENT (1); EMEC (6)

Cercis occidentalis @ BBSL__JPS (3)

Cercis @ EMEC (3)

Lathyrus sp @ BBSL (3)

Lotus nevadensis @ BBSL__KWC (2)

Lotus @ EMEC (2)

Lupinus albifrons @ LACM_ENTB (2)

Lupinus bicolor @ EMEC (1)

Lupinus latifolius @ UCRC_ENT (1)

Lupinus nanus @ EMEC (1)

Lupinus sp @ BBSL (47)

Lupinus @ EMEC (8); AMNH_BEE (1)

Melilotus albus @ AMNH_BEE (7)

Trifolium hirtum @ BBSL (1)

Trifolium repens @ AMNH_BEE (8); BBSL (12); UCRC_ENT (2)

Trifolium sp @ BBSL (25)

Trifolium @ LACM_ENTB (1); EMEC (13)

Vicia sp @ BBSL__OS (1)

Vicia @ UCIS (6); LACM_ENTB (1); AMNH_BEE (10)
Geraniaceae  Erodium @ EMEC (25)
Grossulariaceae  Ribes sanguineum @ AMNH_BEE (1)

Ribes @ AMNH_BEE (2)
Herndon, j.d.  1348 @ JRYA__OLYM (1)

1476 @ JRYA__OLYM (2)

1487 @ JRYA__OLYM (3)

1537 @ JRYA__OLYM (1)

1844 @ JRYA__OLYM (2)
Hydrophyllaceae  Eriodictyon californicum @ BBSL (3)

Phacelia leptosepala @ BBSL (1)

Phacelia sp @ BBSL (3)
Iridaceae  Iris @ EMEC (2)
Lamiaceae  Hyptis emoryi @ EMEC (1)

Lavandula @ I_UCD (2)

Marrubium vulgare @ EMEC (1)

Mentha sp @ BBSL (1)

Mentha @ EMEC (1)

Monardella @ UCRC_ENT (1); EMEC (7); AMNH_BEE (1)

Nepeta cataria @ BBSL (2)

Salvia apiana @ UCRC_ENT (1)

Salvia carduacea @ EMEC (3)

Salvia mellifera @ UCRC_ENT (4)

Salvia sonomensis @ EMEC (13)

Salvia @ EMEC (3)

Stachys @ EMEC (1)

Trichostema lanatum @ UCRC_ENT (2)
Liliaceae  Calochortus subalpinus @ BBSL (1)

Calochortus @ EMEC (1)
Malvaceae  Alcea @ UCRC_ENT (1)
Nyctaginaceae  Abronia villosa @ UCRC_ENT (1)
Oleaceae  Syringa @ AMNH_BEE (1)
Onagraceae  Clarkia concinna @ EMEC (1)

Clarkia dudleyana @ EMEC (2)

Clarkia gracilis @ EMEC (1)

Clarkia sp @ BBSL (1)

Clarkia unguiculata @ EMEC (8)

Epilobium angustifolium @ BBSL (33)

Epilobium latifolium @ BBSL (1)

Epilobium parviflorum @ BBSL (3)

Epilobium sp @ BBSL (1)
Plantaginaceae  Collinsia heterophylla @ LACM_ENTB (1)

Collinsia @ EMEC (1)

Keckiella lemmonii @ LACM_ENTB (2)

Penstemon shastensis @ EMEC (19)

Penstemon spectabilis @ UCRC_ENT (2)

Penstemon @ LACM_ENTB (1); UCRC_ENT (2); EMEC (6)
Plumbaginaceae  Limonium @ UCRC_ENT (1)
Polygonaceae  Eriogonum sp @ BBSL__JPS (1)

Eriogonum @ LACM_ENTB (1); EMEC (41)
Portulacaceae  Calyptridium umbellatum @ UCRC_ENT (1)
Primulaceae  Dodecatheon alpinum @ BBSL (3)

Dodecatheon pauciflorum @ BBSL (3)
Ranunculaceae  Delphinium @ LACM_ENTB (1)

Ranunculus sp @ BBSL (1)

Ranunculus @ EMEC (2)
Rhamnaceae  Ceanothus cordulatus @ UCRC_ENT (1)

Ceanothus integerrimus @ UCRC_ENT (1)

Ceanothus sp @ BBSL (6)

Ceanothus velutinus @ EMEC (1)

Ceanothus @ I_UCD (1); UCRC_ENT (9); EMEC (15); LACM_ENTB (5); AMNH_BEE (4); CSCA (1)

Ranunculus californicus @ UCRC_ENT (2)

Rhamnus californica @ UCRC_ENT (7)

Rhamnus crocea @ EMEC (1)
Rosaceae  Cercocarpus @ AMNH_BEE (1)

Chamaebatia @ EMEC (1)

Horkelia tridentata @ EMEC (1)

Malus @ AMNH_BEE (1)

Potentilla sp @ BBSL (1)

Prunus avium @ EMEC (1)

Prunus ilicifolia @ EMEC (1)

Prunus @ EMEC (1); UCRC_ENT (1)

Rosa sp @ BBSL (1)

Rosa @ LACM_ENTB (1)

Rubus allegheniensis @ BBSL (2)

Rubus discolor @ BBSL (15)

Rubus parviflorus @ BBSL (3)

Rubus sp @ BBSL (7)

Spiraea douglasii @ BBSL (11)
Rykken, j.  1281 @ JRYA__NOCA (2)

1322 @ JRYA__NOCA (2)

1487 @ JRYA__OLYM (2)

1501 @ JRYA__OLYM (1)

1509 @ JRYA__OLYM (4)

1511 @ JRYA__NOCA (1)

1527 @ JRYA__OLYM (1)

1535 @ JRYA__OLYM (3)

1545 @ JRYA__OLYM (1)

1559 @ JRYA__OLYM (1)

1670 @ JRYA__OLYM (1)

1745 @ JRYA__NOCA (7)

1871 @ JRYA__NOCA (5)

1934 @ JRYA__OLYM (1)
Salicaceae  Populus tremuloides @ BBSL (1)

Salix @ EMEC (20); AMNH_BEE (2)
Sapindaceae  Acer @ EMEC (1)
Sarraceniaceae  Darlingtonia @ AMNH_BEE (1)
Saxifragaceae  Ribes @ CSCA (1); EMEC (7); UCRC_ENT (1)
Scrophulariaceae  Buddleia davidii @ I_LKD (1)

Castilleja miniata @ BBSL (1)

Chionophila tweedyi @ BBSL__MOSCOW (1)

Collinsia heterophylla @ BBSL (2)

Digitalis purpurea @ BBSL (2)

Pedicularis groenlandica @ BBSL (7)

Penstemon confertus @ BBSL (2)

Penstemon rydbergii @ BBSL (2)

Penstemon sp @ BBSL (5)

Scrophularia californica @ LACM_ENTB (1)
Solanaceae  Physalis @ UCRC_ENT (1)

Solanum sp @ BBSL (3)
Verbenaceae  Lantana montevidensis @ UCRC_ENT (1)
Zygophyllaceae  Larrea tridentata @ LACM_ENTB (1)
_  Fabaceae sp @ BBSL (1)

Withheld @ BBSL__PINN (47); BBSL__YOSE (124); BBSL (446); BBSL__ZION (28)

salvia @ I_LKD (2)