A new (renewed?) bumble
After a decade of extensive sampling, genotyping, sequencing, and analysis in several studies (e.g., 1, 2, 3, 4) we have FINALLY fixed (we think) Bombus bifarius in the western US. We have elevated the western populations of this species to the rediscovered B. vancouverensis (subspecies nearcticus and vancouverensis). This bumble is interesting for several reasons, but most notably its color pattern variation. Hopefully this will help avoid confounding effects of cryptic species in future ecological and evolutionary studies.
Amazing how much work has gone into just revising a single species, but still cool that we can add another species to the list. Plus this new paper has a bunch of cool whole genome analyses that complement prior pop genomic data we've published. Check it:
Ghisbain, G., Lozier, J.D., Rahman, S.R., Ezray, B.D., Tian, L., Ulmer, J.M., Heraghty, S.D., Strange, J.P., Rasmont, P. and Hines, H.M. (2020), Substantial genetic divergence and lack of recent gene flow support cryptic speciation in a colour polymorphic bumble bee (Bombus bifarius) species complex. Syst Entomol. doi:10.1111/syen.12419
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