Evolution and population structure of africanized honey bees in Brazil: Evidence from spatial analysis of morphometric data
Evolution. Lawrence: Soc Study Evolution, v. 49, n. 6, p. 1172-1179, 1995.
In recent years, studies based on isoenzymatic patterns of geographic variation have revealed that what is usually called the Africanized honey bee does not constitute a single population. Instead, several local populations exist with various degrees of admixture with European honey bees. In this paper, we evaluated new data on morphometric patterns of Africanized honey bees collected at 42 localities in Brazil, using univariate and multivariate (canonical) trend surface and spatial autocorrelation analyses. The clinal patterns of variation found for genetically independent characters (wing size characters and some wing venation angles) are concordant with previous studies of malate dehydrogenase (MDH) allelic frequencies and support the hypothesis that larger honey bees in southern and southeastern Brazil originated by racial admixture in the initial phases of African honey bee colonization. Geographic variation patterns of Africanized honey bee populations reflect a demic diffusion process in which European genes were gradually lost because of the higher fitness of the African gene pool in Neotropical environmental conditions.