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Bombus californicus Smith, 1854
Bombus dubius Cresson, 1863; Apathus californicus Cresson, 1879; Bombus neglectulus Ashmead, 1902; Bombus (Fervidobombus) californicus Smith, 1854

Life   Insecta   Hymenoptera   Apoidea   Apidae   Bombus
Subgenus: Thoracobombus

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

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IDnature guides

    Williams, Paul H., Robbin W. Thorp, Leif L. Richardson, and Sheila R. Colla. Bumble Bees of North America: An Identification Guide. Princeton University Press, 2014. http://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt6wpzr9.

    - has the best modern color guides for identification of both sexes, microscopic identification characters, range and natural history notes.

    DNA barcodes support that B. californicus is a darker subspecies/color form of of the more yellow B. fervidus in the eastern U.S.

    Gives a common name of Yellow Bumble Bee.

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Bombus californicus MALE CFP
© Copyright Laurence Packer 2014 · 7
Bombus californicus MALE CFP
Bombus californicus, Cheryl Moorehead
Cheryl Moorehead · 5
Bombus californicus, Cheryl Moorehead

Bombus californicus
Ron Hemberger · 1
Bombus californicus
Bombus californicus
Ron Hemberger · 1
Bombus californicus

Bombus californicus
Ron Hemberger · 1
Bombus californicus
Bombus californicus
Linda Dahlberg 2010 · 1
Bombus californicus

Bombus californicus
Linda Dahlberg · 1
Bombus californicus
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

California bumble bee

Status: Uncommon, possibly in decline.

Select food plant genera: Cirsium, Trifolium, Monardella, Astragalus, Penstemon, Abronia

Tongue Length: Long

Distribution: Dark form distributed throughout coastal California, Oregon and Washington; yellow form primarily distributed throughout the Intermountain West and Rocky Mountains; both forms co-occur in the Intermountain West along with B. fervidus, raising questions as to whether they are distinct species

Dark form can be confused with B. vosnesenskii, B. caliginosus, and B. vandykei

Thorax anterior to black band between wing bases predominately yellow, scutellum primarily black or occasionally yellow intermixed, T1-3 predominantly black, especially for coastal specimens and may also be completely yellow except for small patches of black on the apicolateral margins of T2 on specimens found in the intermountain west and Colorado Rockies, T4 always yellow, face long.

Mid leg basitarsus with the distal posterior corner sharply pointed (may be hidden by hair). Cheek longer than broad. Hair of the face and top of head predominantly black with yellow sometimes intermixed. On the side of the thorax, the lower anterior surface predominantly black, sometimes with yellow intermixed, corbicular fringes black. Hair length short and even. Yellow B. californicus males can be extremely hard to distinguish from B. fervidus males.

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

Bombus caJifbmkus F. Smith, 18S4, CaL Hymen. British Mus., 2:400. q, m. Hototype q, California (#17B1223 BMNH). Bombus consangulneus Handlirsch, 1888, Ann. K. K. Naturhist. Hofmus. 3239. q, w, m. Type and its location unknown. Geographic range (Map 7). W of 100 longitude; Alberta to Colorado W to British Columbia and Baja California del Norte. California representative records. ALAMEDA Co.: Alameda; Arroyo Mocho, 32 km S Livermore; Berkeley; Pleasanton; Teste. ALPINE Co.: Woodfords. AMADOR Co.: Sutter Creek; Volcano; White Station. BUTTE Ca: Chico; W. branch Feather River. CALAVERAS Ca: Murphys, 610 m; Valley Springs, 2 km E. COLUSA Ca: Lodoga, 10 km W. CONTRA COSTA Ca: Antioch; Briones Hills; Concord; Martinez; Mt Diablo; Orinda Village; Point Richmond; Walnut Creek. DEL NORTE Ca: Crescent City. EL DORADO Ca: Angora Lakes; Latrobe; PlacerviUe; Pollock Pines. FRESNO Ca: Auberry; Firebaugh; Huntington Lake; Mer-cey Hot Springs; Squaw Valley. GLENN Ca: Artois; Fruto; Grindstone Canyon, 11 km N Weir Canyon. HUMBOLDT Ca: Areata; Ferndale; Fort Seward; Kneeland; Orick. KERN Ca: Fra-zier Park, 2 km S. LAKE Ca: Elk Mtn.; Lake Pilbbury, Lower Lake. LASSEN Ca: Blue Lake, South Warner Ridge; Hallelujah Junction; Plumas. Los ANGELES Ca: Avalon, Santa Catalina Island; Claremont; Crystal Lake; Malibu; Pasadena; San Gabriel Canyon. MADERA Ca: Bass Lake; Nipinnawasee; Oakhurst. MARIN Ca: Alpine Lake; Bolinas; Fairfax; ML Tamalpais; Novato; Oiema; Pt Reyes; Tomaks. MARIPOSA Ca: Coulter-ville; Exchequer Dam; Mariposa; Yosemite Valley. MENDOCINO Ca: Fort Bragg; Hopland; Manchester, Westport; Willits. MERCED Ca: Livingston; Los Banc*; W Panoche Hills. MODOC Ca: Adin Pass, 1525 m; Alturas; CedarvOle; Davis Creek; Ft. Bidwell. MONTEREY Ca: Arroyo Seco Camp; Big Sur; Carmel-, Carmel Valley; Junipero Sena Peak; Santa Lucia Mtns.; King City; Soledad. NAPA Ca: Calistoga; Napa; Pope Valley. NEVADA Ca: Boca; Emigrant Gap; Nevada City; Ruckers Lake. ORANGE Ca: Newport Beach; San Clemente; Trabuco Canyon; Yorba Linda. PLACER Ca: Alia; Auburn; Forest Hill; RoseviQe. PLUMAS Ca: Bucks Lake; Meadow Valley, Quincy. RIVERSIDE Ca: Anza; Banning; Corona; Ebinore; Hemet; Idyllwitd; Indio; Riverside; Temecula. SACRAMENTO Ca: Folsom; Gait; Michigan Bar, Sacramento. SAN BENITO Ca: Bitterwater; Hollister; Idria; Pinnacles Natl. Mon. SAN BERNARDINO Ca: Cajon Valler, Forest Home; Lake Arrowhead; Loma Linda; Oak Glen Lodge. SAN DIEGO Ca: Endnitas; La Jolla; Sunnyside; Warner Springs. SAN FRANCISCO Ca: San Francisco. SAN JOAQUIN Ca: Stockton. SAN LUB OBISPO Ca: Atascadero; Mono Bay; San Luis Obispo; Shandon; Simmler. SAN MATEO Ca: Daly City, Patifka; San Bruno Mtns. SANTA BARBARA Ca: San Miguel Island; Santa Barbara; Sania Rosa Island; Zaca Peak. SANTA CLARA Ca: Gilror. ML Hamilton; Palo Alto; San Jose. SANTA CRUZ Ca: ML Herman; Soquel; Watsonville. SHASTA Ca: Burner* Hat Creek P.O.; Shingletown; Viola. SIERRA Ca: Goodyear's Bar; Sierraville. SISKIYOU Ca: Etna; Mt Shasta City. SOLANO Ca: VacaviDe; Val-lejo. SONOMA Ca: Cazadero; Cloverdale; Glen Ellen; Monte Rio; Petaluma; Santa Rosa; Shell Beach. STANISLAUS Ca: Empire; La Grange; Patterson; Turlock. SUTTER Ca: Marysville Buttes. TEHAMA Ca: Red Bluff. TULARE Ca: Giant Forest; Kaweah; Mineralking; Porterville. TUOLUMNE Ca: Big Oak Flat; Columbia; Dardanelle; Mather; San Pedro Dam; Sonora Pass; Strawberry. VENTURA Ca: Fillmore; Oxnard; Santa Paula. YOLO Ca: Capay; Davis; Dunnigan; Elkhorn Ferry; Putah Canyon. Seasonal flight period (Fig. 7). QUEENS (380): early February to early October. WORKERS (568): early March to late October. MALES (600): early May to late October. Flower records. QUEENS (78): Leguminosae 53%; Compositae 12%. WORKERS (101): Legminosae 34%; Compositae 32%. MALES (97): Compositae 33%; Leguminosae 27%. Total 276 in 24 families with 52 genera as follows: Agastache: lw; Althaea: 3w, 2m; Amsinckht: lw; Antirrhinum: lq, lw; Astragalus: 13q,

Fig. 7. Histograms of seasonal flight activity for Bombus californicus. lOw, lm; Brassko: 3q; Canna: lm; Casdlkja: lq; Centawea: 6w, 9m; Chhrogahtm: 5m; Clrshtm: 2q, 24w, 8m; ClarkUt: 3m; Col-linsia: 2w; Coreopsis: 7m; Cosmos: 4m; Delphinium: 2q, 4m; Ertodkfyon, lw; Eriogonum: 3m; Eschschobia: 2w; Foenkuhim: lw, Ghxyrrhha: 5m; Haphpappus: 2m; Helianthus: lq, 2w; Isomeris: lq; Lathyms: lq, 4w, Llnarkt: lw; Lonkxra: 3w, Lotus'. lq, 9w, lm; Lupinus: 5q, 8w; hiedkago: 2q, 10m; Melibtus: 2m; Mentha: lw, lm; Menaella: lq; MonardeUa: lm; Opuntia: lq; Orthocarpus: 4q, 3w, Penstemon: lw, 4m; Potentilla: 2w; Raphama: 2q, 4w, 2m; Rhododendron: 2q, 2m; Ribes: lm; Rosa: lq; Saltx: lq; Salvia: 4q, 3w, 2m; Scabiosa: 2m; Solidago: lm; Stachys: lw, 4m; Trkhostema: lm; Trffbhum: lq, 3w, 5m; Kfcfe: 21q, 4w, 2m; Wyethia: 6q; Zinnia: 2m. Discussion. B. californicus is most closely related to B. fsrvidus and is considered by Milliron (1973a) to be conspecific with it. However, they are ecologically separated where sympatric (Hobbs, 1966a) and show no signs of intergradation in broad areas of sympatry. They are recognized principally by difference in color pattern: B. californicus has predominantly black hair on thoracic pleura, scutel-lum, and metasomal tergites 1 to 3; B. fervidus has yellow hair on these areas. Some males in California are indistinguishable from the more yellowish color variant con-sanguineus. They approach the color of B. fervidus* but may be separated from jervidus by having more lemon-yellow hair and some black hair medially and laterally on metasomal tergites 1 to 3. No females in California can be assigned to consanguineus. Thus, its subspecific status is not appropriate. Hobbs (1966a) described the biology of B. cali-fornicus and documented the ecological differences in nest habitats for caltfbrnicus (wooded areas of the foothills) and Jervidus (prairie) in southern Alberta. He also found that Psithyrus insubris and P. suckleyi females had invaded nests of B. caltfbr-nicus% and the former species produced some adults.

Scientific source:

Natural history
Williams et al. 2014 lists this species as a confirmed host to B. insularis and possibly B. suckleyi.

Supported by

Hosts · map
FamilyScientific name @ source (records)
Amaryllidaceae  Narcissus @ LACM_ENTB (2)
Apiaceae  Foeniculum vulgare @ EMEC (1)
Apocynaceae  Asclepias eriocarpa @ EMEC (1)
Asclepiadaceae  Asclepias fascicularis @ BBSL (1)
Asparagaceae  Chlorogalum pomeridianum @ EMEC (6)
Asteraceae  Achillea @ EMEC (1)

Artemisia @ LACM_ENTB (2)

Aster sp @ BBSL (3)

Centaurea solstitialis @ BMEC_ENT (4); EMEC (10)

Centaurea @ UCRC_ENT (1); BMEC_ENT (2)

Cirsium arvense @ BBSL__JPS (1)

Cirsium cymosum @ EMEC (2)

Cirsium scariosum @ BBSL (3)

Cirsium sp @ BBSL__JPS (2); BBSL (21)

Cirsium vulgare @ BBSL__JPS (1)

Cirsium @ AMNH_BEE (7); UCRC_ENT (2); BMEC_ENT (3); EMEC (3); LACM_ENTB (5)

Coreopsis lanceolata @ UCRC_ENT (5)

Coreopsis @ UCRC_ENT (2)

Cosmos @ UCRC_ENT (4)

Ericameria nauseosa @ BBSL (1)

Helianthus annuus @ UCRC_ENT (2); EMEC (4)

Heliomeris multiflora @ RMBL_ENT (1)

Isocoma acradenia @ UCRC_ENT (1)

Isocoma menziesii @ UCRC_ENT (1)

Jacobaea maritima @ UCRC_ENT (1)

Senecio @ RMBL_ENT (1)

Silybum @ LACM_ENTB (1)

Solidago velutina @ LACM_ENTB (3)

Taraxacum @ RMBL_ENT (1)

Wyethia @ AMNH_BEE (4); EMEC (2)

Zinnia @ UCRC_ENT (3)
Boraginaceae  Amsinckia douglasiana @ UCRC_ENT (1)

Amsinckia @ EMEC (1)

Eriodictyon @ AMNH_BEE (4); EMEC (1)

Phacelia ramosissima @ UCRC_ENT (1); LACM_ENTB (1)
Brassicaceae  Brassica nigra @ BMEC_ENT (2)

Brassica @ EMEC (1)

Raphanus sativus @ UCRC_ENT (1)
Cactaceae  Opuntia @ UCRC_ENT (1)
Caprifoliaceae  Lonicera @ EMEC (2)

Symphoricarpos albus @ BBSL (2)
Cleomaceae  Peritoma arborea @ UCRC_ENT (1)
Convolvulaceae  Ipomoea @ UCRC_ENT (1)
Dipsacaceae  Scabiosa @ UCRC_ENT (2)
Ericaceae  Rhododendron occidentale @ UCRC_ENT (2); EMEC (2)

Rhododendron @ AMNH_BEE (1)
Fabaceae  Acmispon glaber @ UCRC_ENT (10); EMEC (2)

Astragalus douglasii @ UCRC_ENT (22)

Astragalus pomonensis @ UCRC_ENT (4)

Astragalus sp @ BBSL (11)

Astragalus @ EMEC (3)

Glycyrrhiza lepidota @ UCRC_ENT (6)

Glycyrrhiza @ UCRC_ENT (1)

Lathyrus odoratus @ BBSL (3)

Lathyrus @ AMNH_BEE (2); UCRC_ENT (1); BMEC_ENT (1)

Lotus @ BMEC_ENT (1); EMEC (2); LACM_ENTB (1)

Lupinus densiflorus @ BMEC_ENT (4)

Lupinus excubitus @ UCRC_ENT (1)

Lupinus nanus @ EMEC (3)

Lupinus sp @ BBSL (1)

Lupinus @ UCRC_ENT (1); BMEC_ENT (1); EMEC (8); LACM_ENTB (1); RMBL_ENT (1)

Medicago sativa @ EMEC (11)

Melilotus officinalis @ BBSL (6)

Melilotus sp @ BBSL (1)

Trifolium lanceolatum @ UCRC_ENT (1)

Trifolium obtusiflorum @ EMEC (4)

Trifolium pratense @ BBSL__JPS (5)

Trifolium repens @ BBSL (1); EMEC (2)

Trifolium sp @ BBSL (14)

Trifolium variegatum @ UCRC_ENT (2)

Trifolium wormskioldii @ UCRC_ENT (2)

Trifolium @ BMEC_ENT (1)

Vicia americana @ RMBL_ENT (1)

Vicia sativa @ BBSL (1)

Vicia sp @ BBSL (1)

Vicia villosa @ AMNH_BEE (3)

Vicia @ AMNH_BEE (1); UCIS (1); UCRC_ENT (1); BMEC_ENT (4); EMEC (15)
Geraniaceae  Geranium sp @ BBSL (5)
Hippocastanaceae  Aesculus californica @ BBSL (1)
Lamiaceae  Agastache urticifolia @ EMEC (1)

Marrubium vulgare @ LACM_ENTB (2)

Mentha @ LACM_ENTB (1)

Monarda sp @ BBSL (3)

Monardella sp @ BBSL (9)

Monardella villosa @ BBSL (3)

Monardella @ EMEC (1)

Salvia carduacea @ UCRC_ENT (3)

Salvia columbariae @ UCRC_ENT (1)

Salvia leucophylla @ UCRC_ENT (1)

Salvia mellifera @ UCRC_ENT (3); EMEC (1)

Salvia scutellarioides @ UCRC_ENT (1)

Salvia spathacea @ EMEC (1)

Salvia @ EMEC (1); LACM_ENTB (4)

Stachys ajugoides @ UCRC_ENT (1)

Stachys bullata @ UCRC_ENT (4)

Stachys @ EMEC (1)

Trichostema lanceolatum @ LACM_ENTB (1)
Liliaceae  Calochortus @ LACM_ENTB (1)
Loasaceae  Mentzelia laevicaulis @ UCRC_ENT (1)
Malvaceae  Alcea rosea @ UCRC_ENT (2)
Nyctaginaceae  Abronia latifolia @ BBSL (3)

Abronia maritima @ BBSL (4)
Onagraceae  Clarkia amoena @ UCRC_ENT (1); EMEC (6)

Clarkia concinna @ EMEC (1)

Clarkia rubicunda @ EMEC (10)

Clarkia unguiculata @ EMEC (9)

Clarkia williamsonii @ EMEC (1)

Epilobium sp @ BBSL (1)
Orobanchaceae  Castilleja exserta @ UCRC_ENT (2)

Castilleja @ AMNH_BEE (1); BMEC_ENT (1)

Orthocarpus @ EMEC (3)
Papaveraceae  Eschscholzia californica @ UCRC_ENT (1)
Plantaginaceae  Collinsia heterophylla @ UCRC_ENT (1); LACM_ENTB (1)

Keckiella antirrhinoides @ UCRC_ENT (1); LACM_ENTB (1)

Keckiella lemmonii @ LACM_ENTB (1)

Keckiella @ LACM_ENTB (1)

Penstemon @ EMEC (3)

Veronica @ EMEC (1)
Polemoniaceae  Polemonium foliosissimum @ RMBL_ENT (1)
Polygonaceae  Eriogonum fasciculatum @ LACM_ENTB (1)

Eriogonum @ EMEC (1)
Ranunculaceae  Delphinium nuttallianum @ RMBL_ENT (2)

Delphinium @ UCRC_ENT (5); EMEC (6)
Rosaceae  Heteromeles arbutifolia @ BMEC_ENT (1)

Rubus parviflorus @ BBSL (1)

Rubus sp @ BBSL__JPS (1)

Spiraea douglasii @ BBSL (1)
Salicaceae  Salix lasiolepis @ UCRC_ENT (1)
Saxifragaceae  Ribes cereum @ UCRC_ENT (1)
Scrophulariaceae  Buddleia davidii @ I_LKD (1)

Castilleja flava @ BBSL (1)

Collinsia heterophylla @ BBSL (1)

Linaria vulgaris @ BBSL (7)

Mimulus aurantiacus @ BBSL (1)

Penstemon sp @ BBSL (2)

Penstemon washingtonensis @ BBSL (1)
Tiliaceae  Tilia sp @ BBSL (1)
Unplaced  Oedera @ BMEC_ENT (1)
Verbenaceae  Verbena @ LACM_ENTB (1)
_  Withheld @ BBSL__YOSE (21); BBSL (111); BBSL__PINN (10)

salvia clevelandii @ I_LKD (1)

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Updated: 2024-07-15 16:39:55 gmt
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