Population Divergence of Melipona scutellaris (Hymenoptera: Meliponina) in Two Restricted Areas in Bahia, Brazil
Keywords:Geometric morphometrics, diversity, conservation
Melipona scutellaris Latreille has great economic and ecological importance, especially because it is a pollinator of native plant species. Despite the importance of this species, there is little information about the conservation status of their populations. The objective of this study was to assess the diversity in populations of M. scutellaris coming from a Semideciduous Forest Fragment and an Atlantic Forest Fragment in the Northeast Brazil, through geometric morphometric analysis of wings in worker bees. In each area, worker bees were collected from 10 colonies, 10 workers per colony. To assess the diversity on the right wings of worker bees, 15 landmarks were plotted and the measures were used in analysis of variance and multivariate analysis, principal component analysis, discriminant analysis and clustering analysis. There were significant differences in the shape of the wing venation patterns between colonies of two sites (Wilk’s λ = 0.000006; p < 0.000001), which is probably due to the geographical distance between places of origin which impedes the gene flow between them. It indicates that inter and intrapopulation morphometric variability exists (p <0.000001) in M. scutellaris coming from two different biomes, revealing the existence of diversity in these populations, which is necessary for the conservation of this bee species.
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