Cornish Biodiversity Network  -  Supporting Wildlife Recording

   A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z restore

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 muscorum - Moss Carder Bumblebee

Range & Status

Declining in England and Wales. It' s distribution is mainly coastal apart from some inland areas such as Salisbury Plain. In Scotland it is found on inland moors as well as coastal areas.

Regional Distribution

Occurs alongside B.humilis in Cornwall but appears to be less numerous. It has declined inland in particular. Some records may represent mis-identifications probably for B. humilis . A variety, B. muscorum var. scyllonius , is found on the Isles of Scilly.

Habitat & Ecology

This is a long-medium\endash tongued, surface nesting species. It is associated with cool damp grasslands although this association is not obvious in Cornwall. It is found in flower-rich areas where Fabaceae such as Kidney Vetch Anthyllis vulneraria , White Clover Trifolium repens and Red Clover Trifolium pratense are important. A wide range of other plant species are utilised for foraging (similar to B. humilis ). On the Isles of Scilly this subspecies is isolated and possibly vulnerable. It is particularly associated with the coastal edge, Common Birds-foot-trefoil Lotus corniculatus and Bell Heather Erica cineria (Beavis pers. comm.).


Agricultural intensification and the removal of flower-rich grassland are major threats, as is over-grazing on upland habitats.


Protection of coastal flower-rich grassland is key to the conservation of this species. The introduction of pollen and nectar margins or clover leys in agricultural landscape within 1km of known colonies would be advantageous. This species is recognised as a BAP species (2007).


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.

Cornish Biodiversity Network. 2017.