Bombus (Melanobombus) lapidarius | Large Red Tailed Bumble Bee



Conservation status

Near threatened

Species Biology


  • Females are jet black with a red tail. They have black hairs on their hind leg
  • Females could be confused with females of Bombus ruderarius, but in this species the hairs on the hind leg are red
  • B. lapidarius males are also jet black with a red tail, but they have a yellow band at the top of the thorax and a yellow face. Note they have red hairs on their hind leg. 


Found in a wide range of habitats, including parks and gardens. Has declined from the agricultural landscape.

Flight period


Nesting biology

Nests underground in cavities

Flowers visited

Polylectic - Trifolium, Ballota, Lamium, Cirsium, Campanula, Salvia, Centaurea, Vicia, Carduus, Laburnum, Castanea, Acer, Prunus


World distribution(GBIF)

Palaearctic region

Temporal change

Records submitted to Data Centre in 2023

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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.