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Bombus ashtoni is a species of cuckoo bumblebee. This means that it parasitizes closely related species such as Bombus Affinis, Bombus terricola, and Bombus fervidus by residing in the nests of these bumblebees and tricking the bees into providing resources such as food for them


Ashton Cuckoo Bumble Bee (Bombus ashtoni) is an obligate social parasite of B. terricola and B. affinis exclusively. The
female invades her host’s nest, and if successful, is able to monopolize the existing reproductive biology of the host. This
once widespread and fairly common cuckoo bumble bee has become rare in the lower U.S. since the 1990s. NatureServe
(2013) reported that populations declined by up to 99% since the late 1990s. Colla et al. (2012) compared 50km2 blocks
from across its range that were occupied anytime from 1864-1990 with data from 1990-2009 and found that the species
only persisted in fewer than 35% of the blocks. Previously, B. ashtoni appears to have been a rare, but widespread,
member of the Vermont bee fauna. Regional data and modeling suggest that it was probably found throughout the entire
state. The last known B. ashtoni records for Vermont were three males collected in July 1999 at the Ethan Allen Firing
Range in Jericho.
Recent severe population declines of B. Affinis and B. terricola have likely caused the parallel reduction in B. ashtoni
populations. One host, B. terricola, became very rare in Vermont in the late 1990s and has only recently begun to show
signs of a modest population rebound (VCE unpub. data). The second host, B. Affinis, was last found in Vermont in 1999.
Recent records from New Hampshire and Quebec provide hope that B. ashtoni may reappear in Vermont if B.
terricola continues to persist and recover in the region.

Отправлено на 08.10.2017 19:14
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Теги:  Bombus   ashtoni  
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