Cornish Biodiversity Network  -  Supporting Wildlife Recording

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Cornish Red Data (2009)

The descriptive text, below the map, is from the Cornish Red Data Book (2009). The map on this web page depicts the organisms distribution and shows the records made pre-2000 and those made since.

Bombus rupestris - Hill Cuckoo Bee

Range & Status

It has a predominately southern distribution in the UK, and is possibly recovering in numbers in some areas.

Regional Distribution

There are scattered records for this species in Cornwall; nowhere near as common as in the south-east of England, although it is probably under-recorded and overlooked. The species is a cuckoo bumblebee so has no worker caste of its own and will occur in low numbers compared to its host.

Habitat & Ecology

It is likely to occur where its host B. lapidarius occurs in high numbers. This is likely to be in flower-rich grassland with abundant Fabaceae particularly Common Birds-foot-trefoil Lotus corniculatus , although B. lapidarius is a common species occurring in a variety of habitats


The main threats are intensification and the under-grazing of any flower-rich habitat.


The protection and suitable habitat management of flower-rich habitats are required for the conservation of this species.


I.J. Bennallick, S. Board, C.N. French, P.A. Gainey, C. Neil, R. Parslow, A. Spalding and P.E. Tompsett. eds. 2009. Red Data Book for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. 2nd Edition.Croceago Press.

The Cornish Red Data Book Project was led by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Federation for Biological Recorders (CISFBR). The full text and species accounts (minus the maps) are available on the CISFBR website.