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Cuckoo ID help

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Joined 2013-05-03

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Hi

I saw this bee yesterday, I think is a cuckoo but I’m not confident of which species it is, B.vestalis? Can I have people’s opinions please?

     

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Total Posts: 111

Joined 2013-01-10

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Hi BuzzB,
Photos are not always good for identification purposes but I think you are right about it being B. vestalis.  This takes over the nest of its host B. terrestris.  The only other potential i/d is for B. bohemicus, which is a cuckoo in the nest of B.lucorum.  [Said to be a more northerly species].  I have only ever seen 1 x B. bohemicus in my VC55 garden years ago.  All the other regulars [in large numbers] are B. vestalis.  If you get close enough, check out the relative lengths of antennal segments 3 and 5 [see “Bumblebees” by Ted Benton, Page 307. Hope this helps.
urbanbumble

     
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Total Posts: 2

Joined 2013-05-03

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Thank you, that’s very helpful. I have Benton’s book on loan so I will take a look.

     
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Total Posts: 101

Joined 2012-05-31

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Thanks both and to urbanbumble for the expert advice.
Technically you can’t separate B vestalis and bohemicus from photos but certainly vestalis is more common in some areas, particularly south of the UK.
I would bet on B vestalis! There may be some black hairs in the collar or am I imagining them!

cheers, elaine