Parasitic Cape bees in the northern regions of South Africa: source of the founder population

Neumann, P. and Radloff, S.E. and Hepburn, H.R. (2002) Parasitic Cape bees in the northern regions of South Africa: source of the founder population. South African Journal of Science, 98 (7 & 8). pp. 404-406. ISSN 0038-2353




Multivariate discriminant analyses of nine standard morphometric characters of honeybee workers were used to track the origin of a social parasitic pseudo-clone of thelytokous laying workers that have invaded colonies of Apis mellifera scutellata in South Africa. Twenty social parasitic workers were sampled from both of two infested A. m. scutellata colonies at two distant apiaries (Graskop and Heilbronn, about 390 km apart) and compared with data obtained from 80 colonies in four different geographical zones (zone I: thelytokous A. m. capensis morphocluster; zone II: natural thelytokous hybrids between A. m. capensis and A. m. scutellata; zone III: thelytokous A. m. scutellata morphocluster; zone IV: an arrhenotokous A. m. scutellata morphocluster). Thelytokous laying workers occur naturally in zones I-III. Highly significant morphometric differences were found among the bees in the four zones. The data support the conclusion that the social parasitic workers belong to the thelytokous A. m. capensis morphocluster. It is most likely that the social parasitic workers originated from the heart of the Cape bee's distribution range in the Western Cape region in zone I. Morphometric analysis makes it feasible to restrict the possible origin of the social parasitic workers from the natural distribution range of thelytoky (approximately 240 000 km2) down to about 12 000 km2, which represents a resolution capacity of about 95%.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Research letter
Uncontrolled Keywords:Parasitic Cape bees; multivariate analysis; parasitism; honeybee; Apis mellifera scutellata; South Africa;
Subjects:Y Unknown > Subjects to be assigned
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Science > Zoology & Entomology
ID Code:334
Deposited By: Mrs Eileen Shepherd
Deposited On:03 Oct 2006
Last Modified:06 Jan 2012 16:17
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