Ashton's Cuckoo is a rare bumble bee and its populations are declining. It is a social parasite and lays its eggs in host colonies to be raised by that species’ workers. As its host species, Rusty-patched and Yellow-banded, have declined, so has this parasitic species. This species has not been found in Vermont for over 15 years and is thought to be extirpated from the state.

There have been a few records in the last 15 years in the Northeast and Yellow-banded Bumble Bees seems to have recovered recently, so there is hope this species may one day re-appear in VT.


Similar Species: Fernald’s Cuckoo Bumble Bee (Bombus fernaldae)

Known or Suspected Hosts: Yellow-banded Bumble Bee (Bombus terricola) and Rusty-patched Bumble Bee (Bombus affinis)

Global Status: Apparently Secure (G4)*

Vermont Status: Endangered

*Ranked globally as Bombus bohemicus which is more secure in Europe.

For more information, visit the following links:

Discover Life
Living Atlas Species Page


Distribution: To see the global distribution, check out the iNaturalist account, and toggle the GBIF layer on the map.