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Bombus vancouverensis vancouverensis Cresson, 1878


Scientific Name: Bombus vancouverensis vancouverensis Cresson, 1878

Common Name: Vancouver Two-form Bumble Bee


Bombus vancouverensis Cresson, 1878: 187 [♂].

     Lectotype , designated by Cresson (1916: 133). CANADA, British Columbia, Vancouver Island, by H. Edwards [ANSP no. 2644].


Taxonomic notes: Franklin (1913: 329) considered Bombus vancouverensis Cresson, 1878 a synonym of Bombus edwardsii Cresson, 1878, in addition to many of the other species that have been synonymized under Bombus bifarius Cresson, 1878 s. l. in the past. In his discussion of colour variation, Franklin (1913: 333) recorded this species as one of the colour variants (male color variant 3). This taxon was also considered a synonym of Bombus bifarius bifarius Cresson by Stephen (1957: 142)

Though this species has long been considered a synonym of Bombus bifarius (Stephen 1957; Thorp et al. 1983; Williams et al. 2014), Ghisbain et al. (2020) recently recognized B. vancouverensis as a valid species with two subspecies, the typical form restricted to Vancouver Island and other islands in the Salish Sea (Ghisbain et al. 2020: 14), and the more widespread B. vancouverensis nearcticus Handlirsch, 1888. However, Ghisbain et al. (2020:7) reported that “vancouverensis” was “contained as a derived lineage within” a larger “nearctus” clade, not sister taxon too it. As such, B. vancouverensis, the older name, would be the correct species ephthet for the entire group (as indicated by Ghisbain et al. 2020), but the Vancouver and Salish Sea Island populations could be considered a unique haplotype seemingly restricted to these islands. A subspecies is a “recognized local variant of a species” (), but in this case the typical form is the local variant, largely due to having an older name.

Distribution in Canada: Cresson 1878 [BC - island, as B. vancouverensis]; Viereck et al. 1904a [BC, as B. vancouverensis Cresson]; Stephen 1957 [BC, as ]; Ghisbain et al. 2022 [BC]. 


Cresson ET (1916) The Cresson types of Hymenoptera. Memoirs of the American Entomological Society 1: 1-141.

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.

Franklin HJ (1913a) The Bombidae of the New World. Transactions of the American Entomological Society 38(3/4): 177-486.

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

Ghisbain G, Lozier JD, Rahman SR, Ezray BD, Tian L, Ulmer JM, Heraghty SD, Strange JP, Rasmont P, Hines HM (2020), Substantial genetic divergence and lack of recent gene flow support cryptic speciation in a colour polymorphic bumble bee (Bombus bifarius) species complex. Systematic Entomology 45: 635-652.

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

Crop Preference: Not Available
Non Crop Preference: Not Available

Distribution: British Columbia
Ecozone: Pacific Maritime

Distribution Map