Free Access
Volume 36, Number 4, October-December 2005
Page(s) 571 - 584
Apidologie 36 (2005) 571-584
DOI: 10.1051/apido:2005047

Cephalic secretions of the bumblebee subgenus Sibiricobombus Vogt suggest Bombus niveatus Kriechbaumer and Bombus vorticosus Gerstaecker are conspecific (Hymenoptera, Apidae, Bombus)

Pierre Rasmonta, Michaël Terzoa, A. Murat Aytekinb, Heather Hinesc, Klara Urbanovad, e, L. Cahlikovad, e and Irena Valterovad

a  Laboratoire de Zoologie, Université de Mons-Hainaut, B-7000 Mons, Belgium
b  Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Hacettepe University, 06532 Beytepe (Ankara), Turkey
c  Department of Entomology, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, 505 S. Goodwin Av., 320 Morrill Hall, Urbana, IL 61801, USA
d  Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Flemingovo 2, 166 10 Praha, Czech Republic
e  Department of Chemistry of Natural Products, Institute of Chemical Technology, Technická 5, 166 28 Praha, Czech Republic

(Received 9 September 2004 - revised 19 February 2005 - accepted 29 April 2005; Published online: 19 October 2005)

Abstract - Three taxa of the subgenus Sibiricobombus live in the Near-East mountain steppes: Bombus niveatus, B. sulfureus and B. vorticosus. The latter is also present in the Balkan. B. niveatus and B. vorticosus can only be distinguished based on color pattern. B. sulfureus differs in coat color and in genitalia. We identified 40 compounds in the secretions of the labial glands of these taxa, among which 7 were detected for the first time in labial cephalic gland secretions of bumblebee males. Whereas the secretions of the male cephalic labial glands of B. sulfureus are very different from those of B. niveatus and B. vorticosus, we found no significant difference between the latter. We conclude that B. sulfureus is a valid species, whereas B. vorticosus is a mere subspecies of B. niveatus: Bombus niveatus ssp. vorticosus Gerstaecker nov. status.

Key words: cephalic secretions / Sibiricobombus / Bombus / taxonomic status / chemical composition

Corresponding author: Pierre Rasmont ; Irena Valterova

© INRA, DIB-AGIB, EDP Sciences 2005