Bombus (Thoracobombus) muscorum

(L. 1761)

Author(s) : Rasmont P
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.
P. Rasmont



photo  photo  photo