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Friday, June 23, 2017

Happy Pollinator Week!

In honor of National Pollinator Weeka Yellow-faced Bumble Bee (Bombus vosnesenskii), photographed on Bodega Head, 17 June 2017


Fort Ross Conservancy said...

As Jackie knows well, this Yellow-faced Bumble Bee (Bombus vosnesenskii) was first given it's Latin/scientific name by Ilya Gavrilovich Vosnesenskii, the Russian naturalist visiting "Alta California" in 1840-1841. Many of our Northern Californian and northwest American species of flora and fauna were first given their Latin (and sometimes popular) names by different Russians and other Europeans who were serving the Russian Imperial Academy of Sciences here on the American continent in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. (More examples: Steller sea lion, sea cow and jay; Postelsia palmaeformis or sea palm; Eschscholzia californica or California Poppy; etc..) - Hank Birnbaum, Fort Ross Conservancy

Jackie Sones said...

Hi, Hank!

Thanks very much for adding this Russian history connection. Just one minor correction -- Although this bee species was named after Vosnesenky, the scientist who described it and gave it that name was Oktawiusz Radoszkowski, a Polish entomologist.

This can be confusing, but if you check the entire scientific name, the author (or describer) of that species is listed after the genus and specific epithet, e.g., in this case, the full name is Bombus vosnesenskii Radoszkowski, 1862.

You often need to dig a little deeper to find the author name, but it can be very useful and interesting to learn more about who described a species. You can check the Integrated Taxonomic Information System, or for marine species, the World Register of Marine Species can be helpful.



:) Jackie