Color Variation in Bees

Occasionally you run into a bee that looks like it should be one species, but has noticeable red, yellow, or white in an area that it wouldn't normally have. This can make identification difficult, and a great example of why you can't just focus on one field mark but have to look at the whole bee when making an identification.

What causes this?
Color variation is usually caused by damage to the bee during the larval stage. Can also be leucism (kind of partial albinism), or melanism.

Affected species?
Most commonly reported in Bombus impatiens, but many other Bombus species have been recorded with variations. Occasionally seen outside of Bombus.

Bombus impatiens
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/132305614
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/131541744
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/128386979
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/87942596
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/96042896
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/134467754
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/91528864
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/93713929
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/99966079
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/103504023
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/89267946
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/96614053
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/444379
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/89048433
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/95093994
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/89859568 melanistic
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/139895134
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/60917589 Appearing to be a bimaculatus.

Bombus griseocollis
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/131125836
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/121132339
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/88477369
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/127157738

Bombus bimaculatus
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/123551906
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/124334254
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/51496633
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/91966417
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/123540375
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/85488169

Bombus perplexus
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/89576768 Dark form

Bombus fervidus
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/56979330 Leusistic
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/104062467 Not a color variant, just weird hair loss making it appear to be something else.

Bombus affinis
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/87792330

Bombus pensylvanicus
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/137990557

Outside of Bombus:
Anthophora abrupta
At the time of writing this, there is no literature that mentions color variations for A abrupta, although I am aware of a paper being written.
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/83212515 To the best of my knowledge, this observation was the first time this variation was noticed.

Publicado por neylon neylon, 22 de septiembre de 2022

Comentarios

No hay comentarios todavía.

Agregar un comentario

Acceder o Crear una cuenta para agregar comentarios.