B. asiaticus Morawitz is a widely distributed medium-tongued bumblebee species occurring in both the northeast and northwest Indian Himalayas. This species exhibits a wide range of color variation in all castes. Queens have white, pale yellow, yellow or brownish pro- and metanotum, and some specimens possess an entirely white thoracic dorsum. Metasomal tergum 1 and 2 are white, pale yellow, brownish or even black; metasomal tergum 4 is black, brick red or orange red with anterior white and posterior dirty yellow bands in some specimens; tergum 5 is white, black, brick red or even orange red, with some individuals having anterior black and posterior dirty yellow bands. The size of workers may vary from small through medium to large (10–18 mm). Members of this species forage heavily on Cirsium spp. (Asteraceae) and Trifolium spp. (Papilionaceae) during August. In addition to population variation, detailed taxonomic descriptions, synonymy, host plants and distribution pattern are discussed and illustrations are given. Twenty-six host plants of this species have been recorded for the first time from the study area.
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Vol. 123 • No. 5