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Volume 34, Number 3, May-June 2003
Page(s) 311 - 318
Apidologie 34 (2003) 311-318
DOI: 10.1051/apido:2003020

Individuality of wing patterning in Giant honey bees (Apis laboriosa)

Gerald Kastbergera, Sarah Radloffb and Gerhard Krannerc

a  Department of Zoology, Karl-Franzens University of Graz, Austria
b  Department of Statistics, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa
c  eudaptics software gmbh, Kupelwiesergasse 27, 1130 Vienna, Austria

(Received 7 June 2002; revised 7 November 2002; accepted 29 November 2002)

We investigated whether individual worker bees of a single Apis laboriosa colony can be re-identified by their wing patterns alone. In a sample of 183 bees we pre-selected 100 workers belonging to 12 intra-colonial patrilines and re-identified them by 25 size-free wing characters. Re-identification was carried out by Self Organizing Map (SOM) reclassification and conventional discriminant analysis (DA) using the protocols of recognition (data for training and testing the model are equal or slightly modified by white noise), and prediction (test data are unknown to the model). SOM recognition of wing shaping was found to be more robust than that resulting from DA. If the test data were altered by white noise, SOM recognition success was 100% within a range of 3% modification which corresponded to the overall measurement error; under these conditions DA success was less than 40%. The SOM prediction capacity was tested using four test-training data ratios and reached 90% under a two-step reclassification protocol.

Key words: individuality / wing pattern / SOM re-classification / Giant honeybee / Apis laboriosa

Correspondence and reprints: Gerald Kastberger

© INRA, EDP Sciences, DIB, AGIB 2003