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Bombus morrisoni Cresson, 1878


Scientific Name: Bombus morrisoni Cresson, 1878

Common Name: Morrison\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s Bumble Bee


Bombus Morrisoni Cresson, 1878: 183 [♀, ♂].

     Lectotype ♀, desginated by Cresson (1916: 125). USA, Colorado, by H.K. Morrison [ANSP no. 2632].

Bombus marrisoni Cockerell, 1899: 156 [footnote]. Lapsus of Bombus morrisoni Cresson, 1878.

Bombus morrisoni var. umbrosus Friese, 1931: 301 [♀]. Synonymy by Milliron (1973b: 252).

     Holotype ♀. Colorado [XXX].


Taxonomic notes: Friese (1931: 301) described Bombus morrisoni variety umbrosus Friese, 1931 on the basis of it having yellowish-grey instead of the yellow hair characteristic to this species, which he attributed to a special form of melanism; it was synonymized by Milliron (1973b: 252). Though Milliron (1973: 254) mentioned some variation in the extent of yellow pubescence, but overall felt it was “one of the most stable” species to identify.

DNA Barcode Index Number (BIN): BOLD:AAF6114

Biology: The nesting biology was studied by Homer (1918) who indicated that in addtion to building both brood cells from wax, it also built honey pots and “tubes” for pollen out of wax; it would also use old “pupal cases” (presumably brood cells) for honey storage. Homer (1918) also speculated that the bees had “taken foricible possession of the nest” from a mouse, whose mummified remains were found nearby, though since it is a single mated female (queen) that finds and established the nest, this may be a incidence of nest defence. She also reported a dead cuckoo bumble bee (subgenus Psithyrus) in the nest,

Distribution in Canada: Gibson 1914 [BC]; Frison 1926 [BC]; Buckell 1951 [BC]; Stephen 1957 [BC]; Milliron 1973b [BC]; Thorp et al. 1983 [BC]; Williams et al. 2014 [BC]; Sheffield and Heron 2019 [BC].


Cockerell TDA (1899) Notes on American bees. Entomologist 32: 154-159.

Sheffield CS, Heron JM (2019) The bees of British Columbia (Hymenoptera: Apoidea, Apiformes). Journal of the Entomological Society of British Columbia 115: 44-85.

Cresson ET (1878) Descriptions of new species of North American bees. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 30: 181-221.

Williams PH, Thorp RW, Richardson LL, Colla SR (2014) Bumble Bees of North America. An Identification Guide. Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey. 208 pp.

Thorp RW, Horning, DS, Dunning LL (1983) Bumble bees and cuckoo bumble bees of California (Hymenoptera: Apidae). Bulletin of the California Insect Survey 23: 1-79.

Friese H (1931) Über Bombus und Psithyrus. Konowia 10: 301.

Buckell ER (1951) Record of bees from British Columbia: Bombidae. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of British Columbia 47: 7 24.

Frison TH (1926a) Descriptions and records of North American Bremidae, together with notes on the synonymy of certain species (Hymenoptera). Transactions of the American Entomological Society 52: 129-145.

Stephen WP (1957) Bumble bees of western America (Hymenoptera: Apoidea). Oregon State College Agricultural Experiment Station Technical Bulletin 40: 1-163.

Homer PF (1908) Nesting habits of Bombus and Osmia. Transactions of the Utah Academy of Sciences 1: 16-20. [This publication dates from April 4, 1908, but volume 1, published in 1918, contains papers delivered from 1908-1917].

Milliron HE (1973b) A monograph of the Western Hemisphere bumblebees (Hymenoptera: Apidae; Bombinae). III. Memoirs of the Entomological Society of Canada 105: 239-333.

Sociality: Eusocial
Nesting: Ground
Pollen Specialization: Polylectic
Wintering Stage: Mated Female

Crop Preference: Not Available
Non Crop Preference: Not Available

Distribution: British Columbia
Ecozone: Western Interior Basin

Distribution Map