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 sylvarum - Shrill Carder Bumblebee

Range & Status

A southern species that has greatly declined. Populations remain in South Wales, the Somerset Levels, Salisbury Plain and the Thames Estuary.

Regional Distribution

A distinctive species, that is likely to be extinct as there have been no records since 1961.

Habitat & Ecology

This is a long-tongued, surface or underground nesting species. It is fairly late to nest and to reach peak numbers. Associated with flower rich grassland with Fabaceae particularly Red Clover Trifolium pratense . Other forage plants include Red Bartsia Odontites verna , Tufted Vetch Vicia cracca and Common Comfrey Symphytum officinale . It may also be associated with taller denser vegetation, unlike other rare Bombus .


Not applicable in Cornwall.


This species requires the restoration of large areas of tall flower-rich grassland with abundant Fabaceae. This species is listed on the BAP short list, with an action plan, as a globally threatened/declining species (BSGR, 1995). 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.