Apis mellifera - Paralectotypes

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PaleoPerson 

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I have just found some specimens in the "The Linnean Collections" of Apis mellifera.

They are listed as "paralectotypes which means "Any specimen of a series when no specimen is designated as the holotype. Also known as cotype."

They can be found at http://www.linnean-online.org/cgi/s...try=&satisfyall=ALL&order=genus/species/-date

I would suggest, that anyone serious about Apis mellifera/ Apis Mellifera mellifera should look at this material as these maybe (the type designation gives it away) the original specimens for which Apis mellifera was described.

I have not found the literature for AMM yet, but I suspect that AMM came about when it was discovered that there were sub-species of AM. The normal naming convention would then be to cite AM as AMM and then erect the other subspecies, but the original publication would need to be found.

So if you want to see what a 'real' AMM is, check the link.



:)
 

RoofTops 

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I may being a bit dim but if they are described as just AM then couldn't they be any subspecies?
 

PaleoPerson 

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I may being a bit dim but if they are described as just AM then couldn't they be any subspecies?
This is why the AMM paper needs to be found. As described above is one means of starting subspecies.

I suspect that AM and AMM are one and the same, but the paper that describes AMM needs to be found. I have seen the paper that describes AM (in Latin).

Also, NO, THEY CANNOT BE ANY SUBSPECIES. NAMING CONVENTION MAKES THESE WHAT THEY ARE, THESE ARE THE TYPES. THIS CANNOT BE CHANGED UNLESS THERE ARE TWO SUBSPECIES IDENTIFIED WITHIN THE LECTOTYPES.
 
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Poly Hive 

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This is where the venerated BIBBA needs to be consulted.

Looks as though it would be possible to get wing measurements though.

PH
 
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Hivemaker. 

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This is where the venerated BIBBA needs to be consulted.

Looks as though it would be possible to get wing measurements though.

PH
It's most likely one of BIBBA's anyway,they have been around for a while....must of lost a few swarms.
 

PaleoPerson 

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AMM Update

I have been looking deeper into AMM and have now had confirmation from Prof. Dr. Michael S. Engel (per comms) that the material held in the Linnaean collection now in Burlington House are indeed the type specimens of Apis mellifera / Apis mellifera mellifera (one and the same thing).

The reference on the labels "det M. C. Day 1977" refer to his discoveries in 1977 and published "Discovery in the Linnaean collection of type-material of insects described by Johann Reinhold Forster, with notes on the Hymenoptera" http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1095-8312.1977.tb00257.x/abstract

For a more complicated, but well defined view on the Taxonomy of Apis both extant and extinct, then Dr. Michael S. Engel's paper "The Taxonomy of Recent and Fossil Honey Bees"
www.culturaapicola.com.ar/apuntes/revistaselectronicas/Engel/14.pdf

So in a nutshell, the original specimens of Apis mellifera mellifera are housed in the Linnaean collections in Central London and it is to these Type specimens that all AMM should be compared to.

bee-smilliebee-smilliebee-smillie
 

Norton 

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Well done! in tracking down the type specimens of AMM. Might be interesting if someone could get some measurements.
Best regards
Norton.
 

Poly Hive 

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I probably am remembering this erroneously but I seem to have it in my mind that BIBBA took measurements from those samples.

I do wish BIBA would get with the times and get on line properly. Seems they voted not to for some weird reason.

PH
 

PaleoPerson 

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I probably am remembering this erroneously but I seem to have it in my mind that BIBBA took measurements from those samples.

I do wish BIBA would get with the times and get on line properly. Seems they voted not to for some weird reason.

PH
I have been informed by a forum member of the following:
"Ruttner measured those wings in the 1980s and published the results in 'The Dark European Honeybee' (1990) Ruttner Milner Dews"
 

drstitson 

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Hate to spoil the party...

i know one should measure a pool of bees normally BUT where wing well visualised on one of the bees in the Linnean soc collection the CI is 2.5 and discoidal shift is probably positive!!!

so on that basis may be carnica (or ligustica) NOT AMM.
 

wilderness 

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I've had a go at measuring the wings from the Linnean Society images.

The wings have to be flat to get any meaningful data and as the wings are unsupported, my results are probably not good.

However I've managed to measure 3 wings. They are all the right hand images.

Linn 2820 Discoidal Shift is -15 (yes -15)
Linn 2819 Discoidal Shift is -1.3
Linn 2818 Discoidal Shift is -0.5
 

Richard Bache 

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i know one should measure a pool of bees normally BUT where wing well visualised on one of the bees in the Linnean soc collection the CI is 2.5 and discoidal shift is probably positive!!!

so on that basis may be carnica (or ligustica) NOT AMM.
I've had a go at measuring the wings from the Linnean Society images.

The wings have to be flat to get any meaningful data and as the wings are unsupported, my results are probably not good.

However I've managed to measure 3 wings. They are all the right hand images.

Linn 2820 Discoidal Shift is -15 (yes -15)
Linn 2819 Discoidal Shift is -1.3
Linn 2818 Discoidal Shift is -0.5
I think these are the same specimens that Ruttner, Dews and Milner in their little booklet, 'The Dark European Honeybee' refer to. They measured several wing characteristics as well as other ancient specimens and modern specimens. Although they concluded that they fit within AMM reference ranges (based on modern populations- which indeed they do), their own principal components analysis seems to seperate the modern from the ancient specimens: in essence their modern specimens were different from the ancient specimens (presumably an element of hybridisation), but measurement and comparison of individual variables was not reliable at distinguishing them apart. I don't think that single variables can reliably distinguish between strains and it takes multivariate morphometry with statistical components analysis to properly distinguish strains when some have come from hybridised populations. Indeed, it could be questioned whether assigning a race is a meaningful concept when populations have become so mixed and 'races' are only loosely defined.
 

gavin 

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Indeed, it could be questioned whether assigning a race is a meaningful concept when populations have become so mixed and 'races' are only loosely defined.
It could also be argued, if you like, that black is white but no one would believe you! There are a lot of mongrels around, that is clear, but there are also representatives of the original races in places where mixing has been slight or absent. Figure 10 of this paper shows the relationships between those races.

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v443/n7114/full/nature05260.html

Gavin
 

PaleoPerson 

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I think that the problem with defining 'races' (not recognised by ICZN) or even sub species is fraught with problems when looking at Apis mellifera due primarily to the mating process used.

In an ideal world, all populations would be isolated and the gene pool reasonably static. However, the geographical boundaries move with evolving ecologies, this is ignoring mans influence and global warming. The geographical 'races' will interbreed and evolve.

What am I trying to say? well, what ever type of Honey bee was around 250 years ago at a given location, has a high probability of being different today. Also it will different in 250 years from now.

I agree with Richard Bache's comments. However, what needs to be remembered is:
The specimens in the Linnean collections are the 'Type' specimens. Therefore, should you determine that your specimens differ from the 'type' specimens enough to call them a different race/sub species or even species, then your specimens are NOT Apis mellifera mellifera.

If it can also be shown, that they are a sub species in their own right then the doors are open for you to scientifically describe and name it following ICZN code http://iczn.org/

Personally, I think it will be next to impossible to maintain a true genetic line (if it still exists) within Europe and I think at best it could be Apis mellifera mellifera var (somename).

Which leads me onto evolution, bees will (and should be allowed to), evolve to match their ecosystem. The traits descriptions given for 'modern' AMM in my view, are just that, Traits. What are the earliest written references that align these traits (colour, size, gentleness/aggression, foraging temperatures etc) with AMM. Just to play devils advocate, is there any proof that the 18th century AMM were not hyper aggressive and that trait was bred out of them over the centuries?
 

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