all pictures © robin williams
Some identification problems
illustrated by targeted galleries
(two species that may be confused - see tail colour)
Some of these pictures illustrate the problems of identification arising from fading and age. As new pictures become available, they may be added to help show more of these problems. However, it must be emphasised that because of these factors, bumblebee identification remains an uncertain science. Experience brings knowledge of particular individuals that are problems to identify in the field, others that become more familiar with time. I have tried to include different phases; bumblebees appear easy to know - large and colourful, tricky and confusing, but always fun to watch and get to know. Particular problems arise witth age - as with all of us. Strong colours may fade to near-white. Bands that are obvious in the beginning may vanish as they become worn. Light can also play ticks. If photographing, try to obtain several views which may mitigate the last factor as well as meeting needs you may come across later.
bumblebee Bombus hortorum w - long tongue