Seasonal variation in some morphological characters of Apis mellifera adansonii workers from three ecological zones of Nigeria

Abstract : Morphological characters are one of the veritable discriminant tools of honeybee species. This study was aimed at evaluating the morphology of the Nigerian honeybees, Apis mellifera adansonii L. from the savannah (guinea and derived) and rainforest zones at different seasonal (onset of rain, wet season and dry season) periods. A total of 810 honeybee samples comprising of 90 samples per ecological zone per seasonal period were collected and dissected. Morphological characters were measured using modified PhotoScan method. Total body weight, lengths of the total body, head region, thorax, abdomen, proboscis, maxillae, forewing, hindwing, hindlimb, femur, pollen basket, basitarsus and tarsus as well as width of mouth, forewing and hindwing of the honeybees showed significant variations between the ecological zones at each seasonal period. Also, seasonal periods showed significant interaction on all the morphometric parameters evaluated. Canonical Discriminant Classification showed significant (p = 0.01) dissimilarity in the honeybees’ morphometric pattern between the ecological zones (Wilks’ Lambda = 0.558) and between seasonal periods (Wilks’ Lambda = 0.210). However, the honeybees showed higher dissimilarity between the seasonal periods (Eigenvalue = 0.439) than the ecological zones (Eigenvalue = 0.266). Both seasonal fluctuation and ecological zones thus contribute to morphological variations in Nigerian honeybees.
Keyword : Honeybees, environment, morphology, economic insect, climate
Author(s) : Bamidele, J. A., Idowu, A. B., Ademolu, K. O., Osipitan, A. A., Ajao, A. M.
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Published Issue : 2023 Vol. 18 Supplement

2023 Vol. 18 Supplement