There was once a bumble bee from the Lake.

lago villarrica 1

By José Montalva

At the beginning of the 90’s a Dutch entomologist, Von Asperen de Boer, discovered what he believed a new species of bumble bee, which was collected in the vicinity of Lake Villarrica (South of Chile).
In 1992 Von de Boer published a work where he introduced this new species Bombus villaricaensis¹.

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Bombus ruderatus. Picture Fernando Tellez

What Von Asperen de Boer did not know is that 10 years earlier, the European bumble bee species Bombus ruderatus² had been introduced to Chile.
So, realizing that Bombus villaricaensis and Bombus ruderatus were the same species, the same author published a clarification note of his error in 1993, and thus B. villaricaensis became a synonym of B. ruderatus.

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Bombus ruderatus melanic form. Picture Daniel Pezoa

References

¹ Asperen de Boer, J. (1992) Bombus villarricaensis, a new garden bumble bee from southern Chile (Hymenoptera: Apidae). Entomologische Berichte 52: 133-136.

² Arretz, P. y Macfarlane, R (1986) The introduction of Bombus ruderatus to Chile for red clover pollination. Bee World 67: 15-22.

³ Bombus villarricaensis is but a junior synonym of Bombus ruderatus. Entomologische Berichten 53: 38.

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