With more than 250 species, bumblebees---bees of the genus Bombus---can be challenging to identify. Some types' distinctive markings include a stripe or patch of orange, red or rust. Final identification also depends on geography and sex.
Bumblebees are best known for black and yellow coloration, but they may also have white, brown or reddish areas on their bodies. Many species have a red stripe, so their identification can be difficult.
One Mid-Abdomen Segment
Bumblebees with a red stripe in the middle of the abdomen include B. affinis and B. rufocinctus. B. bifarius has a lengthwise black streak crossing its red stripe.
Multiple Red Segments
Some bumblebees have more than one red-colored mid-abdomen segment, including B. appositus, B. borealis, B. huntii, B. melanopygus and B. ternarius.
End of Abdomen Red
Species whose "tail" or end of the abdomen is red include B. centralis, B. flavifrons (two red segments each; B. flavifrons has a darker face) and B. frigidus. B. crotchii and B. sandersoni have at least two possible patterns, one with a red "tail" and one with no red.
- Photo Credit Hummel image by Arnd Hertel from Fotolia.com
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