Free Access
Volume 32, Number 1, January-February 2001
Page(s) 3 - 23
DOI: 10.1051/apido:2001108

Apidologie 32 (2001) 3-23

Infraspecific categories of Apis cerana: morphometric, allozymal and mtDNA diversity

H. Randall Hepburna, Deborah R. Smithb, Sarah E. Radloffc and Gard W. Otisd

a  Department of Zoology and Entomology, Rhodes University, Grahamstown 6140, South Africa
b  Department of Entomology, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas 66045, USA
c  Department of Statistics, Rhodes University, Grahamstown 6140, South Africa
d  Department of Environmental Biology, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1, Canada

(Received 4 July 2000; accepted 29 September 2000)

An analysis of the infraspecific categories of Apis cerana was prepared from the relevant literature on taxonomy, morphometrics, allozyme polymorphism and mtDNA diversity. About 31 putative biometric groups have been proposed and assigned to about eight equivocal "subspecies"and various ecotypes. However nearly half of the area of distribution of A. cerana remains unexamined. Allozyme polymorphism is greatest in southeast and lowest in northern and western Asia. About four major mtDNA groups are discernable. There is a very low overall geographic congruity amongst the morphoclusters, allozyme polymorphs and mtDNA clusters. The greatest problems in resolving infraspecific categories in A. cerana are inadequate sampling, incompatible differences in sample sizes, character suites, sampling distance, confidence limits and range of geographical scales employed in different studies.

Key words: Apis cerana / taxonomy / biogeography / Asia / honeybees

Correspondence and reprints: H. Randall Hepburn

© INRA, EDP Sciences, DIB, AGIB 2001

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