Morphometric and wing landmarks analysis of races of Apis melliferaadansonii L. in Nigeria
Morphometrics is the measurement and analysis of morphological characters and it is widely applied to study insect life history, physiology and systematics. Morphometric analysis has been used as a useful tool to assess subspecies limits in Apis mellifera and to study of genetic variability of honeybees. The identification of the species of honeybee in any beekeeping practice is germane to productive apicultural practice in any part of the World. This study entails the use of variations in morphometric and wing landmarks features to classify the samples A. mellifera collected from established apiaries in the forest and savannah vegetation zones of Nigeria. The result showed that honeybee samples collected from the two vegetation zones of the country produced five distinct morphoclusters. Morphoclusters 3 and 1 had the lowest (1.2%) and highest (26.4%) number of bee respectively. 20 landmarks was observed on the forewings of morphoclusters 1, 2, 4 and 5 while, morphoclusters 3 had 19 landmarks. Also, a similar trend of landmarks occurred on the hindwings. Morphoclusters 1, 2, 4 and 5 had six landmarks while, morphoclusters 3 had five respectively. The distinctive morphometry and wing landmark features of the identified morphoclusters of A. mellifera encountered in beekeeping practice in Nigeria portrayed differences in the sizes of the morphometric features of the morphoclusters. The uniqueness of the morphometric and wing landmark features of the morphoclusters was conveniently used to group the honeybees as distinct races of A. mellifera adansonii in the country.