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Morphometric Analysis of Populations of Centris aenea Lepeletier (Hymenoptera: Apidae) from Northeastern Brazil

Ferreira, V.S., Aguiar, C.M.L., Costa, M.A., Silva, J.G.
Neotropical entomology 2011 v.40 no.1 pp. 97-102
Apidae, Centris, Malpighia emarginata, crops, females, genetic markers, genetic variation, geographical distribution, interspecific variation, morphometry, solitary bees, Brazil
Centris aenea Lepeletier is a solitary bee that has raised interest in management to pollinate crops, such as acerola, Malpighia emarginata. This study investigated the level of morphometric variability among populations of C. aenea from Northeastern Brazil. Traditional and geometric morphometric analyses were used. Head length, leg length, wing length, and wing shape were measured in samples (5-10 females) from eight localities. We did not find statistically significant differences among the populations (P > 0.01). The partial wing warps were similar in the populations and indicated that the bees were not morphometrically different. Our results suggest that C. aenea shows low population morphometric variability and highlight the need for further investigations on population variation in this species, preferably including populations sampled at the extremes of their geographic distribution. Significant insight into the population variation of C. aenea will probably require the use of molecular markers to allow a comparative approach between morphometric variability and genetic variability.