Morphometric and pheromonal analyses of Apis mellifera L along a transect from the Sahara to the PyreneesH.R. Hepburna and S.E. Radloffb
a Department of Zoology and Entomology, Rhodes University, Grahamstown 6140, South Africa
b Department of Statistics, Rhodes University, Grahamstown 6140, South Africa
Abstract - Pheromones and morphological characteristics of worker honeybees from Morocco and Spain were analyzed with multivariate statistical methods. Principal component and stepwise discriminant analyses yielded three morphological clusters, corresponding to sahariensis and intermissa (including the ecotype major) in Morocco and to iberica (with three biometric populations) in Spain, but no pheromone clusters. Inter-colonial variances for all characteristics formed significant asymmetries within the areas of classically defined subspecies. These were complemented by trends in intra-colonial variance. The combined morphometric and pheromonal variance spectra indicate regions of natural hybridization along a Sahara-Pyrenees transect.
Key words: honeybee / population genetics / morphometrics / pheromone / N Africa / Spain