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

Upcoming Events

Interested in a 2022 BugGuide gathering in New Mexico?

Photos of insects and people from the Spring 2021 gathering in Louisiana, April 28-May 2

National Moth Week 2020 photos of insects and people.

Photos of insects and people from the 2019 gathering in Louisiana, July 25-27

Discussion, insects and people from the 2018 gathering in Virginia, July 27-29

Photos of insects and people from the 2015 gathering in Wisconsin, July 10-12

Photos of insects and people from the 2014 gathering in Virginia, June 4-7.

Previous events


Species Bombus fraternus - Southern Plains Bumble Bee

Id request for data posting - Bombus fraternus Bombus ID? - Bombus fraternus Sleeping Bee - Bombus fraternus bombus affinis? - Bombus fraternus Bombus fraternus Bee on Rosinweed - Bombus fraternus Bee Feeding on Rosinweed - Bombus fraternus Southern Plains Bumble Bee - 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)