- Apis lucorum Linnaeus, 1761
- renardi Radoszkowski, 1884
- alaiensis Reinig, 1930
- mongolicus Kruger, 1954
Small Earth Humble-bee, White-tailed bumblebee
No status defined
Value of species
Taxonomic status: COI barcodes (Bertsch, 2010; Williams et al., 2012) support the interpretation that this is a broadly distributed species. However, it remains difficult to distinguish from several related species (especially B. magnus, B. cryptarum, B. longipennis, B. jacobsoni) on the basis of morphology alone (Rasmont et al., 1986; Carolan et al., 2012). A study of the taxon 'renardi' on Corsica in comparison with B. lucorum in neighbouring Europe by Lecocq et al. (2014) concluded that 'renardi' is an endemic Corsican species (although tellingly their COI bGMYC results show 'renardi' to be conspecific with 'lucorum s. l.').
One of 17 species of the subgenus Bombus in the strict sense. One of 250 world known species of the genus Bombus, and one of 40 bumblebee species in the fauna of Ukraine.
Distribution: Palaearctic, Oriental, W Nearctic Regions (indigenous distribution in Europe, Asia, including the Himalaya, Alaska and Canada east almost to Hudson Bay).
Introductions: This species occurs in Iceland, where it has probably been introduced (Prys-Jones et al., 1981).
B. lucorum has been distinguished from B. terrestris by most authors for almost a century and this distinction is no more disputed. On the contrary, the distinction between B. lucorum, B. magnus and B. cryptarum is recent and is accepted only reluctantly by some authors.
Bombus lucorum is very widespread in Europe, reaching the coast of the Barent's See to the North. However, in the southern countries, it remains in the hills and the mountains, never reaching the Mediterranean coast.
Though very widespread, B. lucorum has not been as widely studied as B. terrestris. Because its colonies are smaller, its diapause longer and its ecological requirements more restrictive, it has never been domesticated.
A common species with medium body size, a short tongue, emerging in early spring, and usually nesting below the surface of the ground (though sometimes on the surface under objects, or above the surface in cavities). Colonies of this species are large.
- Iren KONOVALOVA, e-mail: email@example.com