Bombus (Bombus) magnus



Conservation status

Data deficient - taxonomic confusion with B. lucorum and B. cryptarum

Species Biology


  • This species can only be reliably distinguished from its sister species (Bombus lucorum and Bombus cryptarum) by molecular analysis. 
  • Unless accompanied by DNA analysis, all should be recorded as 'Bombus lucorum', although you can add a note that you think it might be B. magnus
  • Clean white tail
  • Queens have one lemon yellow band on the thorax and one on the abdomen
  • It is said that the yellow thorax band reaches down the side of the body and underneath the wings in queens of B. magnus. However, research has shown it is impossible to reliably distinguish B. cryptarum from B. lucorum and B. magnus without molecular analysis. See Murray T.E., Fitzpatrick Ú., Brown M.J.F. & Paxton R.J. (2008). Cryptic diversity in a widespread bumble bee complex revealed using mitochondrial DNA RFLPs. Conservation Genetics 9: 653-666.


Found in a range of habitats, but more strongly associated with upland areas.

Flight period


Nesting biology

Nests underground in cavities

Flowers visited

Polylectic - Ballota, Onobrychis, Ononis, Lamium, Calluna, Impateins, Trifolium, Salix, Rubus, Erica


World distribution(GBIF)

Oriental, Japanese, Palaearctic, Arctic, W Nearctic regions

Temporal change

Records submitted to Data Centre in 2019

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Conservation status: FitzPatrick Ú., Murray T.E., Byrne A., Paxton R.J., Brown M.J.F. (2006) Regional Red List of Irish Bees, Publ. Rep. to National Parks and Wildlife Service (Ireland) and Environment and Heritage Service (N. Ireland).

Flowers visited & World distribution: Westrich, P. (1989) Die Wildbienen Baden-Württembergs. Eugen Ulmer, Stuttgart, Germany.