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Bombus nevadensis Cresson, 1874


Scientific Name: Bombus nevadensis Cresson, 1874

Common Name: Nevada Bumble Bee


Bombus nevadensis Cresson, 1874: 102 [♀, ♂].

     Lectotype ♀, designated by Cresson (1916: 125). USA, Nevada, by H.C. Yarrow [ANSP no. 2637].

Bombus improbus Cresson, 1878: 186 [♂]. Synonymy by Cockerell (1899: 389).

     Lectotype ♂, designated by Cresson (1916: 120). USA, Colorado, by Morrison [ANSP no. 2633].

Bombus nevadensis race Cressoni Cockerell, 1899, in Cockerell and Porter, 1899: 388 [♀]. Synonymy by Franklin (1913: 416).

     Syntypes? ♀. USA, New Mexico: White Mts., at about 10,300 feet, at flowers of Delphinium scopulorum, several (Townsend); South Fork, Eagle Cleek, Aug. 19, about 8300 feet, at flowers of Sicyos parviflorus, two (Townsend); North Fork, Ruidoso Creek, Aug. 20, alt. 8200 feet, at flowers of Solidago trinervata, two (Townsend); Mesealero Agency, (Otis); Las Vegas, July, two, one at Cleome serrubzta (Porter and Ckll.) [].

Bombus nevadensis miguelensis Cockerell, 1937: 148 [♂]. Synonymy by Milliron (1971: 73).

     Holotype ♂. USA, San Miquel Island, 28 July 1937, by W. Smith [CAS no. 4649]. 

Bombus crotchii semisuffusus Cockerell, 1937: 148 [♀]. Synonymy by Milliron (1971: 73).

     Holotype ♀. USA, San Miquel Island, 30 July 1937, on Mesembryanthemum crystallinum [CAS no. 4650].


Taxonomic notes: This species shows much variation in hair colour across its range (Thorp et al. 1983: 19), though Stephen (1957: 46) and Milliron (1971: 75) suggested the pale colouration was rather stable. Burks (1951: 1247) and Stephen (1957: 49) continued to recognize Bombus nevadensis miguelensis Cockerell, 1937 as a valid subspecies, though Milliron (1971: 73) and Thorp et al. (1983: 19) recognized this as variation within Californian populations.

However, Milliron (1971: 75, and see Map 6 on page 79) also recognized most of the darker forms of B. nevadensis as a separate subspecies, B. nevadensis auricomus Robertson, 1903, though they are more widespread, including in much of western Canada (see Milliron 1971: 79, and Williams et al. 2014: ) and have often been confused with Bombus auricomus (Robertson, 1903); records of B. auricomus outside of southern ON in Canada likely represent these dark forms.

Cockerell (1899: 388-389) recognized two races of B. nevadensis, Cressoni Cockerell, 1899 (see above) and aztecus Cockerell, 1899, the latter is a synonym of Bombus fervidus (Fabricius, 1798).

DNA Barcode Index Number (BIN): BOLD:AAC1736

This BIN is consistent with most specimens identified as typical B. nevadensis.

An additional BIN, BOLD:AAF0203 contains sequences from one specimen identified as B. auricomis from northern ON (identified by P.H. Williams); one specimen in the YT identifed as auricomus, and one specimen from Oklahoma identified as auricomus that seem to be genetically quite distinct from either B. nevadensis or B. auricomus.

Distribution in Canada: Fletcher and Gibson 1908 [BC, AB, a complete melanistic form mentioned from AB], Franklin 1913 [AK, BC, AB]; Gibson 1915 [BC, AB]; Stephen 1957 [YT, BC]; Thorp 1970 [BC]; Sheffield et al. 2014 [AB, SK, MB]; Williams et al. 2014 [YT, BC, AB, SK, MB]; Gibbs et al. 2023 [MB].

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

Crop Preference: Lonicera caerulea
Non Crop Preference: Not Available

Distribution: Alaska, Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Yukon
Ecozone: Boreal Cordillera, Boreal Plains, Boreal Shield, Montane Cordillera, Pacific Maritime, Prairie, Western Interior Basin

Distribution Map