Other Common Names
Has been called the Vosnesensky Bumble Bee, but that's a bit of a mouthful for a common name. Also use of the possessive should be preferred when forming such a name (see AOU and BOU bird checklists). The common name used here may not be optimal in that it could apply to many bumble bee species, but it is informative for identification relative to Bombus californicus and is already in wide use.
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Bombus columbicus Dalla Torre, 1890
Explanation of Names
Author: Radoszkowski, 1862
Face yellow vs. black in californicus females
Females with malar space relatively short and S4 usually black as compared with caliginosus, and males with different antennal proportions. These characters are rarely visible in photos so those taken at coastal sites where both could occur are rarely identifiable.
Metasomal yellow band on T4 rather than T3 in vandykei
In the Pacific States some cuckoo bumble bees can have similar color patterns but are separated by group characters, i.e. of subgenus Psithyrus.
Pacific Coastal States and Provinces. Most records from further east are questionable or may result from accidental transport in vehicles.
Very broad including chaparral, oak-woodland savannah, foothills, coastal areas, and cities.
Very long, and regularly encountered even in midwinter.
A generalist visiting a wide range of plants including California Poppy. The Hosts section of its Discover Life species page
lists known associations based on specimen records and images.
The most abundant and widespread species in cismontane California and generally numerous across the Pacific States at lower elevations.