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 muscorum var. scyllonius - Scilly Bee

Range & Status

Once known from all the inhabited, and many uninhabited, islands of the Isles of Scilly. This species has been in apparent decline for some years. G.M. Spooner, even in the 1960s, noted that decline was in progress. Reasons for the decline may include the reduction in flower-rich grassland and heathland due to the lack of grazing and the subsequent encroachment of invasive vegetation such as Bracken Pteridium aquilinum . Since 1998, the ' Scilly Bee' has continued to be found in open heathland and grassland on St. Agnes, albeit in very small numbers, and difficult to locate. Since then (1999) it has been found in reasonable numbers on the uninhabited Eastern Isle of Great Ganilly and in much smaller numbers on Great Arthur. A 2003 specimen near Porth Hellick on St. Mary' s may have been a stray from St. Agnes. Several specimens were seen visiting heather on Appletree Banks, Tresco, in 2004, which may be significant since the last record for Tresco was in

the 1960s.


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.