Free Access
Volume 29, Number 4, 1998
Page(s) 333 - 346
Apidologie 29 (1998) 333-346
DOI: 10.1051/apido:19980404

Population structure and the interface between Apis mellifera capensis and Apis mellifera scutellata

H.R. Hepburna, S.E. Radloffb and S. Fuchsc

a  Department of Zoology and Entomology, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, 6140 South Africa
b  Department of Statistics, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, 6140 South Africa
c  Institut für Bienenkunde, Polytechnische Gesellschalt, JW Goethe Universität, Frankfurt am Main, Karl-von-Frisch-Weg 2, D-61440 Oberursel, Germany

Abstract - Honeybees of southern Africa below 28° latitude south were analysed morphometrically. Based on a combined data set from the morphometric data bank in Oberursel and that of the Apicultural Group of Rhodes University, the distribution of the morphoclusters of Apis mellifera capensis and A. m. scutellata, as well as the extent of the hybrid zone were re-established for 8 743 worker bees from 442 colonies covering 104 localities. This distribution was matched against particular traits such as thelytokous parthenogenesis, mitochondrial and nuclear DNA profiles, and sting alarm pheromone variability known from previous investigations. The striking incongruences in the geographical distribution of these traits demonstrate a dynamic and independent pattern of gene flow. They also create considerable disagreement between morphometric group definitions and those derived from other biological characteristics. © Inra/DIB/AGIB/Elsevier, Paris

Key words: A. m. capensis / A. m. scutellata / hybridization / morphometrics / pheromones / mtDNA / nuclear DNA