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Species Bombus fraternus - Southern Plains Bumble Bee

Bumble Bee - Bombus fraternus - female Bumblebee - Bombus fraternus - male Carpenter Bees - mating?? - Bombus fraternus - male - female Bombus?? on small wild plum tree - Bombus fraternus Bumble Bee on Tall Thistle - Bombus fraternus - male Bombus fraternus on Asclepias tomentosa - Bombus fraternus Bombus fraternus? - Bombus fraternus Bombus Fraternus ?? - Bombus fraternus
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, Longhorn, Orchid, and Digger Bees)
Tribe Bombini (Bumble Bees)
Genus Bombus (Bumble Bees)
No Taxon (Subgenus Cullumanobombus)
Species fraternus (Southern Plains Bumble Bee)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Bombus fraternus (Smith)
Orig. Comb: Apathus fraternus Smith 1854
Syn: Bombus scutellaris
queen: body length 21-27 mm
male: 19-25 mm
worker: 13-18 mm
Black interalar band broad and well defined. T3 black (as opposed to yellow in auricomus and sonorus). T2 entirely yellow-tan (lacking the black apicolateral corners typical of griseocollis).
see detailed description of queen and male at
Historic records come from e US to NM (MI;IL;IN;OH;KY;NJ;MD;DE;VA;DC;TN;NC;SC;MS;AL;GA;FL;IA;MO;AR;LA;SD;NE;KS;OK;TX;CO;NM) and Mexico: Chihuahua.
Map - Discover Life
Typically prairies and similar open sites
March to November
The Hosts section of its Discover Life species page lists known associations based on specimen records and images.
Has disappeared from the northern margins of its range, with few or no records from the northernmost states where recorded historically, but still regularly encountered in its core range on the southern Great Plains, and still found in the Southeastern United States.
Internet References
24 pinned adult images plus detailed description of queen and male, distribution, seasonality, flower records (
common name reference; PDF doc (Committee on Common Names of Insects, Entomological Society of America)
links to photos of male genitalia (Natural History Museum, UK)