Multivariate morphometric analyses of the giant honey bees, Apis dorsata F. and Apis laboriosa F. in China
Lian-Fei Cao, Huo-Qing Zheng, Xuan Chen, De-Fang Niu, Fu-Liang Hu and H Randal Hepburn
Multivariate morphometric analyses were performed on the giant honey bees Apis dorsata F. and Apis laboriosa F. of China. The two giant honey bee species were readily separated by principal components, cluster and discriminant analyses. Apis laboriosa showed higher values for the variables of size and cubital index than A. dorsata (ranging respectively as the width of the wax mirror 2.83~2.99 mm and 2.36~2.56 mm, width of sternum 6 3.61~3.86 mm and 3.03~3.26 mm, cubital index 10.36~14.56 and 6.38~9.61). Most of the wing venation angles were also significantly different in the two giant honey bees (angle J10 were 38.2°~40.7° and 34.7°~37.7° respectively). A. dorsata is distributed widely across China, and cluster and discrimination analyses indicated that they could be subdivided into two morphometric subclusters: one from the Chinese mainland and another from Hainan Island which reflects their relative geographic isolation. Few characters differed in the two A. dorsata morphometric subclusters, however, which suggests that they possibly diverged from each other very recently.
giant honey bee, Apis dorsata, Apis laboriosa, morphometry, China