Biogeography and Taxonomy of Honeybees by Friedrich Ruttner

By Friedrich Ruttner

Honeybees are as small as flies or as huge as hornets, nesting in nar­ row cavities of bushes and rocks or within the open on huge limbs of timber 30 m above floor. They ensue in tropical zones and within the forests of the Ural mountains, they live on seven months of wintry weather or even longer sessions of drought and warmth. traditionally, they lived via a prolonged time of stagnation within the tropics from the mid-Tertiary, yet then skilled an explosive evolution throughout the Pleistocene, re­ sulting within the conquest of massive new territories and the foundation of 2 dozen subspecies in Apis mellifera. This great geographic and ecologic diversification of the genus Apis was once followed by means of a wealthy morphological edition, much less at the point of species than on the lowest rank, the subspecies point. edition being solely of a quantitative style at this primary step of speciation, tradi­ tional descriptive tools of systematics proved to be unsatisfactory, and honeybee taxonomy ultimately ended up in a complicated multitude of inadequately defined devices. powerful equipment of morphometric-sta­ tistical research of honeybee popUlations, founded on constrained components, were constructed over the last many years. merely the numerical characterization of the populations, including the outline of habit, exhibits the genuine geographic variability and may finish present generalizations and handy stereotypes.

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Mellifera than in A. dorsata, indicating a higher level of social organization in the former (Buttel-Reepen 1903). The same is the case with the yolk protein content of the hemolymph of workers; a low content indicates a high level of sociality (Engels 1973). 4. Level of Dance Communication. florea - dorsata - cerana+ mellifera was established (Lindauer 1956). However, the final conclusions derived from these data are partly inconsistent and contradictory : 1 a. Open-air nesting is not necessarily "primitive", it can as well be interpreted as a derived adaptation to tropical conditions of primarily cavity nesting bees (Koeniger 1976b).

Mellifera. 7%. The minima are almost equal, but the maxima are higher in mellifera, as shown in Fig. 4. The smaller range of variability in A. cerana can perhaps be explained by the fact that only 93 samples of this species were included in the analysis compared to more than 800 in A. mellifera. The introduction of a new category of characters, namely the pattern of wing venation, marked a definite step forward. 0 a. 0 • ... ... Cera no ... 0 ! 2 Variation of body and wing length (T3 + 4, FL) in Apis species and subspecies.

Visible differences among domestic bees were noted already in antiquity by Aristotle and Columella (Fraser 1951). 69) and not normally distributed. Differences in size can be assessed for taxonomic classification only by measuring isolated parts of the body, using magnifications of 25 x -50 x. The variation between the populations of A. 1). Generally, measurements of size are to some extent correlated with each other, but to a varying degree. Therefore it is quite justified to include several measurements of different body parts to achieve a better discrimination of populations.

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