Free access
Volume 36, Number 3, July-September 2005
Page(s) 359 - 376
Published online 07 July 2005
Apidologie 36 (2005) 359-376
DOI: 10.1051/apido:2005023

Apis florea: morphometrics, classification and biogeography

H. Randall Hepburna, Sarah E. Radloffb, Gard W. Otisc, Stefan Fuchsd, L.R. Vermae, Tan Kenf, T. Chaiyawongg, G. Tahmasebih, R. Ebadih and Siriwat Wongsirig

a   Department of Zoology and Entomology, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, 6140, South Africa
b   Department of Statistics, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, 6140, South Africa
c   Department of Environmental Biology, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario N1G 2W1, Canada
d   Institut für Bienenkunde (Polytechnische Gesellschaft) Fachbereich Biologie der J. W. Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main, Karl-von-Frisch-Weg 2, 61440 Oberursel, Germany
e   Department of Bio-Sciences, Himachal Pradesh University, Shimla 171005, HP, India
f   Eastern Bee Research Institute of Yunnan Agricultural University, Kunming, China
g   Department of Biology, Chulalongkorn University, Phayathai Road, Phathumwan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
h   Honeybee Department, Animal Science Research Institute, Karaj, Iran

(Received 26 June 2004 - Revised 12 September 2004 - Accepted 13 September 2004; Published online: 7 July 2005)

Abstract - Multivariate morphometric analyses were performed on 2923 individual worker bees from 184 colonies representing 103 localities across the full distributional area of Apis florea Fabricius 1787 from Vietnam and southeastern China to Iran and Oman (~7000 km). Morphologically A. florea is unequivocally separable from A. andreniformis. Comparisons of geographically separated A. florea populations result in morphoclusters that reflect sampling artifacts. These morphoclusters change clinally with latitude but overlap when the full database is contained in the same principal component analysis. A cluster analysis based on Euclidean distances suggests degrees of affinity between various geographic groupings of A. florea. This species occupies a large area that includes rainforests, savannas, subtropical steppes, and semideserts. The seasonality of reproductive swarming is temporally continuous allowing gene flow throughout this panmictic species.

Key words: Apis florea / morphometrics / distribution / biogeography / swarming / migration

Corresponding author: H. Randall Hepburn

© INRA, DIB-AGIB, EDP Sciences 2005