Comparative biometric studies on flight muscles of honeybees in the genus Apis
P. C. Dulta And L. R. Verma
With a few minor exceptions the lcnglh and breadth of indirect and accessory indirect flight muscles followed the order Apis dorsata> A. mellifera> A. c. indica > A. Florea, with statistically significant differences between species (P0.01). The order of size for direct flight muscles differed from the indirect, with A. c. indica> A. dorsata> A. florea > A. mellifera. Again a few of the differences were non-significant statistically. Among ecotypes of A. c. indica both direct and indirect flight muscles followed the general pattern Kashmiri > Himachali > Manipuri bees, again with a few exceptions. Within each species and each ecotype of A. c. indica, number and diameter of muscle fibres were usually proportional to muscle size (length and breadth). Comparisons between species suggest that A. dorsata has the longest flight range of any of the four species because of its larger indirect and accessory indirect flight muscles, followed in turn by A. mellifera, A. c. indica and A. florea. The data for indirect muscles suggest that A. cerana, is the best adapted of the four species for changing direction and body balance in flight, and A. mellifera the poorest.