Free Access
Volume 22, Number 3, 1991
Page(s) 169 - 181
Apidologie 22 (1991) 169-181
DOI: 10.1051/apido:19910301

Distinctive hydrocarbons among giant honey bees, the Apis dorsata group (Hymenoptera: Apidae)

D.A. Carlsona, D.W. Roubikb and K. Milstreyc

a  US Department of Agriculture, IAMARL, PO Box 14565, Gainesville, FL 32604, USA
b  Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, APDO 2072, Balboa, Panamá
c  University of Florida, Department of Entomology and Nematology, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA

Abstract - Cuticular hydrocarbon pattern (CHP) analysis was performed on giant honey bees (the Apis dorsata group) including: 1), those occasionally given species status-Himalayan honey bees, Philippine honey bees, Sulawesi honey bees; 2), those separated since the Pleistocene-common A dorsata of the Indian and Asian lowlands and islands on the continental shelf (India and Sri Lanka, Thailand and Sumatra); and 3), giant honey bees of Borneo and Palawan, potential stepping-stones to the Philippines and Sulawesi. Four groups were found among giant honey bees by this CHP analysis. Most distinctive were those of Palawan and Nepal. The widespread lowland Apis dorsata differed very little among mainland and island populations, whereas those of Borneo, Sulawesi, and Philippines proper formed a single group. Those of the Himalayas appear to have diverged from A dorsata.

Key words: Apis dorsata / Apis laboriosa / systematics / hydrocarbon / gas chromatography