Free access
Volume 29, Number 6, 1998
Page(s) 481 - 490
Apidologie 29 (1998) 481-490
DOI: 10.1051/apido:19980601

A morphological and mitochondrial assessment of Apis mellifera from Palermo, Italy

Angela Sinacoria, Thomas E. Rindererb, Vicki Lancasterc and Walter S. Sheppardd

a  Istituto di Entomologia Agraria, Università di Palermo, Palermo, Italy
b  USDA-ARS, Honey-Bee Breeding, Genetics and Physiology Laboratory, 1157 Ben Hur Road, Baton Rouge, LA 70820-5502, USA
c  Department of Statistics, Kansas State University, 101 Dickens Hall, Manhattan, KS 66502, USA
d  Department of Entomology, Washington State University, 166 FSHN Bldg, Pullman, WA 99164-6382, USA

Abstract - A characterization of the honey bees from western Sicily (Palermo, Italy) is presented. Morphological comparisons to A. m. ligustica were made using data taken from honey bee populations from southeastern (Bari) and central (Emilia Romagna) Italy. The honey bees of the Palermo area have distinct morphological differences compared to the mainland honey bees. The mtDNA haplotype common in subspecies within the African lineage of A. mellifera predominated in the Sicilian honey bee samples (13 out of 16). These results suggest both the potential and the desirability to expend efforts to conserve A. m. sicula. © Inra/DIB/AGIB/Elsevier, Paris

Key words: Apis mellifera sicula / Apis naellifera ligustica / morphology / mitochondrial DNA / Sicily / Italy / germplasm conservation