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Home / Nature - Animals / Invertebrates / Invertebrates - Autumn / Invertebrates - September / Hii Cuckoo Bee or Red-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus (Psithyrus) rupestris)
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Hii Cuckoo Bee or Red-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus (Psithyrus) rupestris)


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Bombus rupestris is a large �cuckoo bee�. Cuckoo bees are so called because they are parasites that takes over the nests of other bees. This species takes over the nests of the Red-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus lapidarius). It can be identified because It�s wings are much darker than B. lapidarius and it shows a typical southerly UK distribution. Until recently this species was known as Psithyrus rupestris but Psithyrus has now been reduced to a subgenus within Bombus. It is all black with a red tail no pollen baskets on the hind legs and very dark wings.. It is Widespread throughout the British Isles, particularly in southern England. The host is very widespread and appears to be currently increasing its range northward. This one is feeding on one of the last thistle flowers at a site at Stevington, Bedfordshire September 2005.

2nd Sep 2005 by Diane Earl

Biology, Science

Key Stages:
Foundation, Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, Key Stage 4+

Insect Bee

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