Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes

Fall Fund Drive

TaxonomyBrowse
Info
ImagesLinksBooksData

Subgenus Pyrobombus

Bumblebee - Bombus perplexus - male Bombus-2 - Bombus ternarius - female mating bumble bees - Bombus impatiens Bombus impatiens - male Bee in Hibiscus - Bombus impatiens Florida panhandle bee - Bombus impatiens - male bumblebee - Bombus Bee on Solidago - Bombus
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Hymenoptera (Ants, Bees, Wasps and Sawflies)
No Taxon (Aculeata - Ants, Bees and Stinging Wasps)
No Taxon (Anthophila (Apoidea) - Bees)
Family Apidae (Cuckoo, Carpenter, Digger, Bumble, and Honey Bees)
Subfamily Apinae (Honey, Bumble, Long-horned, Orchid, and Digger Bees)
Tribe Bombini (Bumble Bees)
Genus Bombus (Bumble Bees)
No Taxon Subgenus Pyrobombus
Other Common Names
These could be called the Fiery-tailed Bumble Bees
Numbers
19 spp. in our area, 50 spp. total(1)
Size
Relatively small, especially the workers
Identification
Midleg with rounded angle. The faces and malar space are variable in length but tend to be intermediate between the Cullumanobombus (shorter) and the Thoracobombus (longer). The hair coat of many species is relatively long and shaggy but less so than in Alpinobombus. Eye of male normal (not enlarged)

Species identification is often difficult, as their are many similar species that mimic each other.
Range
holarctic group; ~30 spp. are in the Palaearctic; in our area, all 19 spp. occur in the US, 17 also in Canada, 2 range into Mexico (there are 2 more spp. in Mexico & C.America to Panama)(1) The subgenus is particular common in temperate climates and less well represented in xeric or truly boreal regions.
Habitat
Mountain-meadow, forest, grassland, semi-desert, and tropical montane forest(2)
Season
Flight season typically long. Queens of many species emerge early. Some such as bimaculatus and perplexus produce reproductives in summer and end activity soon after, whereas other species such as impatien persist until very late fall.
Food
Floral associations diverse and variable depending on tongue length. This subgenus includes some of the most important pollinators of crops such as apples and blueberries.
Life Cycle
Nests underground or on the surface(2)
Remarks
This subgenus includes some of the most common species. Most seem to be persisting or even increasing unlike species in other subgenera such as Bombus (Bombus) that have declined severely.
See Also
Most orange-banded bumble bees belong to this subgenus (B. (Cullumanobombus) rufocinctus is the exception)