Recently it was reported that a new bumblebee species had settled in Iceland but now it turns out that there were two new species that look alike. The first new species spotted was the new garden bumblebee (Lat. Bombus hypnorum) but now the common carder bee (Lat. Bombus pascuorum) has also joined the group of new settlers.
The common carder bee, a new settler in Iceland, which originally was mistaken for the new garden bumblebee, another new settler. Photo by Erling Ólafsson. Copyright: The Icelandic Institute of Natural History.
Known as rydhumla (“rusty bumblebee”) in Icelandic, the new settler usually has a rusty-red torso and a slightly darker tail. However, the Icelandic variety seems to have a completely black upper tail and a rusty-red tail-end. The new garden bumblebee, on the other hand, has a white tail (see a picture of it here), Fréttabladid reports.
After news of the new garden bumblebee was received, British bee experts pointed out to the Icelandic Institute of Natural History that there might in fact be two new settlers in Iceland. After photos were examined that turned out to be the case.
It has been confirmed that the new garden bumblebee, raudhumla, or “red bumblebee” in Icelandic, has settled in Keflavík, Hafnarfjördur and Reykjavík and that the common carder bee has settled in Hveragerdi and Akureyri. It is believed that the latter species has settled more widely in the countryside.
Click here to read more about the new garden bumblebee.