Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Bumble or Carpenter Bee? - Bombus sonorus

Bumble or Carpenter Bee? - Bombus sonorus
Alamogordo, NM , Otero County, New Mexico, USA
September 9, 2008

Images of this individual: tag all
Bumble or Carpenter Bee? - Bombus sonorus - female Bumble or Carpenter Bee? - Bombus sonorus

Moved from Bumble Bees.

Bombus sonorus
fraternus is mostly in the SE USA

Bombus sonorus
Thanks for the correction. What threw me was that all the photos that I have seen including yours at Discover Life of Bombus sonorus have yellow hairs, whereas in this image abdomen hairs are white.

colors can fade on bumble bees
sometimes even red turns to whitish-yellow (e.g., in some faded B. centralis, B. ternarius)

camera exposures also vary of course

note the extensive black on the pleuron ruling out fervidus

Thank you again!
I appreciate all the information and agree with your points. I am just trying to reconcile what rules out B. fraternus.
Two issues - 1) location - Otero County is actually SE of Bernalillo County NM where there is a record of B. fraternus at Discover Life and, 2) this image to my untrained eyes bears striking resemblance to image of B. fraternus as well as Bombus sonorus if you discount the color. Thanks again for sharing your knowledge.

This bee was very pale yellow
This bee was very pale yellow. I have not come across any that were as yellow as that pictured for bombus sonorus.

BTW how does an image get moved to the proper classification. When I was first submitting images they would get moved once an ID was given but none of my recent images have been moved. Just curious. Thanks!

Moving Images
Any editor can move images. Of course, during the summer when ID Request is often more than 100 pages, they may be concentrating more on providing IDs. You can move your own images by tagging the images, navigating to the destination page, clicking on Images tab and clicking on "move tagged images" link. Actually, we have a great Article that tells you all about it and then some.

Thank you!
I thought only editors not contributor's could move the image. Now I see you can submit an image without going through the ID if you know what it is. I still have no clue where to move this one since the opinions seem to very on the Genus (I hope that is the correct term- sorry just learning about bugs). Thanks again for all your help.

You're Welcome!
Let me just say that Dr. Ascher is the authority on bees. So if he says it's a Bombus sonorus then that's what it is. I am just learning by doing internet research and by asking questions as to how to distinguish different species.

As to your comments, this Bumble Bee belongs to Genus Bombus.
Even if you think you know, I would encourage you to post images to ID Request so that other experts can confirm or deny and often give additional information that may benefit you and other contributors/editors.

Bumble Bee
Looks to me like Bombus fraternus. The Large Carpenter Bees have black/naked abdomens.