State Museum of Natural History
Biodiversity Data Centre

Bombus muscorum (Linnaeus, 1758)

  • Apis muscorum Linnaeus, 1758
  • pallidus Evans, 1901
  • fulvofasciatus Friese, 1905 [infrasubspecific]
  • laevis Vogt, 1909
  • nigripes Perez, 1909
  • pereziellus (Skorikov, 1923)
  • bannitus (Skorikov in Popov, 1930)
  • celticus Yarrow, 1978
  • agricolae Baker, 1996
Vernacular Name
Large Carder-bee, Moss Carder-bee, Moss carder bee
Conservation status
RDBUkr: Рідкісні
Value of species
Pollinator species
One of 51 species of the subgenus Thoracobombus. One of 250 world known species of the genus Bombus, and one of 40 bumblebee species in the fauna of Ukraine. Distribution: Palaearctic Region (Europe and nothern Asia to the Pacific). A large species with a mid-length tongue, emerging in late spring, and nesting on the surface of the ground. Colonies are small. In recent years, populations have significantly declined due to loss of natural habitat. B. muscorum is currently listed as vulnerable in Europe by the European Red List of Bees. Populations, however, are fairly rare in all locations. B. muscorum is classified as vulnerable in Europe by the IUCN. B. muscorum inhabits moors, grasslands, and salt marshes. B. muscorum exhibit small foraging ranges. B. muscorum has been described as doorstep foragers, due to the tendency of workers to use food resources near the nest more frequently than the workers of other species. B. muscorum has poor dispersal ability compared to other species of bumblebee, making it more vulnerable to habitat loss. As a result, populations have decreased dramatically in recent decades. [[Bombus muscorum includes 2 well marked subspecies: Bombus muscorum muscorum, B. m. bannitus. The distribution of Bombus m. muscorum is remarkably wide. The species is found from Ireland to Mongolia and from the latitude of Stockholm to Crete. The northernmost location of the subspecies is in the surroundings of Vyborg, in Russian Karelia and in Orkney Islands. More north, we find B. muscorum bannitus. B. muscorum is generally uncommon to very uncommon in all its continental locations. On the contrary, it may be quite common in its maritime locations, specially along the Atlantic coasts. It is very uncommon in the southern half of the Iberian peninsula and the south of Italy and utterly uncommon in Turkey, the Caucasus and Transcaucasia. It has never been encountered in S. Greece nor in N. Africa, nor in Iran. B. muscorum muscorum includes several local variations in pilosity lenght that are often taken as subsp. (sladeni from England, agricolae from Orkney islands, laevis from Turkey). Bombus muscorum bannitus is a strictly coastal subspecies throughout its western distribution. Its highest observation is at 330 m, in the Scottish Highlands (Richards, 1935). It includes a serial of more or less conspicuous local variations often taken as subspecies (allenellus from Aran island, scyllonius from Scilly, liepetterseni from W-Norway, bannitus s.s. from N-Russia). The specimens reported from E. Anatolia, the Caucasus and Transcaucasia are always isolated workers and it is not unlikely that they are, indeed, faded B. laesus workers]].
Book reference
  • Літопис природи. Природний заповідник «Медобори». 2018, т.26. – Гримайлів, 2019. – 509 с.
  • Проект організації території Чорноморського біосферного заповідника НАН України та охорони його природних комплексів. Ч. 1. К.- 2016. 300 с.
  • Iren KONOVALOVA, e-mail:

Taxonomic branch