Free Access
Volume 28, Number 5, 1997
Intra-specific variation in the honeybee
Page(s) 275 - 286
Apidologie 28 (1997) 275-286
DOI: 10.1051/apido:19970504

Expression of body and hair color in three adult castes of the red honeybee Apis koschevnikovi von Buttel-Reepen, 1906 in Sabah, Borneo

J. Woyke

Bee Division, Agricultural University - SGGW, 166 Nowoursynowska, 02-787 Warsaw, Poland

Abstract - Apis koschevnikovi bees were collected in Sabah, Borneo. A total of 303 workers from ten colonies were measured in 1995, and 500 workers, 200 drones and ten queens were investigated in 1996. Measurements were made of the width of the dark bands on terga II, III and IV. Drawings of the different body color patterns were made. The workers are light orange with dark brown bands on abdominal terga. Body color patterns were assigned to five groups. The successive groups are gradually darker. Queens and drones have different color patterns and are darker than the workers. The upper part of the head and the scutum are black, and the dark brown bands on terga are similar in all three bee castes. However, the light colored body parts such as clypeus, scutellum, and the light abdominal bands are light orange or orange in workers and light brown or reddish brown in the sexuals: queens and drones. The major gene responsible for body color in A koschevnikovi is proposed to be designated as Ko. Hairs covering the thoraces of workers, queens and drones are light orange, gold and gray, respectively. The gene responsible for the color of these hairs is proposed to be designated as Kh.

Key words: Apis koschevnikovi / honeybee body color / color differences in castes