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Miocene honey bees from the Randeck Maar of southwestern Germany (Hymenoptera, Apidae).

Kotthoff U, Wappler T, Engel MS - Zookeys (2011)

Bottom Line: Previously unrecorded specimens from Randeck Maar were compared with earlier series in an attempt to evaluate the observed variation.The resulting dendrogram shows considerable variation concerning the wing venation of Miocene Apini, but intergradation of other morphological characters reveals no clear pattern of separate species.The pattern also supports the notion that the multiple species and subspecies proposed by earlier authors for the Randeck Maar honey bee fauna are not valid, and all are accordingly recognized as Apis armbrusteri Zeuner.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Geologisch-Paläontologisches Institut, Universität Hamburg, Bundesstraße 55, D-20146 Hamburg, Germany.

ABSTRACT
The Miocene Randeck Maar (southwestern Germany) is one of the only sites with abundant material of fossil honey bees. The fauna has been the focus of much scrutiny by early authors who recognized multiple species or subspecies within the fauna. The history of work on the Randeck Maar is briefly reviewed and these fossils placed into context with other Tertiary and living species of the genus Apis Linnaeus (Apinae: Apini). Previously unrecorded specimens from Randeck Maar were compared with earlier series in an attempt to evaluate the observed variation. A morphometric analysis of forewing venation angles across representative Recent and Tertiary species of Apis as well as various non-Apini controls was undertaken to evaluate the distribution of variation in fossil honey bees. The resulting dendrogram shows considerable variation concerning the wing venation of Miocene Apini, but intergradation of other morphological characters reveals no clear pattern of separate species. This suggests that a single, highly variable species was present in Europe during the Miocene. The pattern also supports the notion that the multiple species and subspecies proposed by earlier authors for the Randeck Maar honey bee fauna are not valid, and all are accordingly recognized as Apis armbrusteri Zeuner.

No MeSH data available.


Representative Randeck Maar honey bees (Apis armbrusteri Zeuner). A SMNS 64675 (neotype) [Morphotype D] B SMNS 64674/11a [Morphotype CM]. Scale bar = 2 mm.
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Figure 4: Representative Randeck Maar honey bees (Apis armbrusteri Zeuner). A SMNS 64675 (neotype) [Morphotype D] B SMNS 64674/11a [Morphotype CM]. Scale bar = 2 mm.

Mentions: The fossil material studied originates from the Staatliches Museum für Naturkunde, Stuttgart (SMNS), the Heimatmuseum Göppingen Jebenhausen (HMJ), and the Paläontologisches Museum Nierstein (PMN) (Figs 2–5). Additional Apis armbrusteri specimens are present in the Urwelt-Museum Hauff but were already considered in detail by Armbruster (1938a). A re-examination of the majority of the specimens described in Armbruster (1938a) was impossible since many of these were covered in Canada balsam, ironically used by Armbruster to preserve the bees (Armbruster 1938a, 1939), but which has darkened over time. Removing the balsam likely will lead to the destruction of many important features. In total, 18 not yet described specimens of Apis armbrusteri are introduced in this work (Table 1).


Miocene honey bees from the Randeck Maar of southwestern Germany (Hymenoptera, Apidae).

Kotthoff U, Wappler T, Engel MS - Zookeys (2011)

Representative Randeck Maar honey bees (Apis armbrusteri Zeuner). A SMNS 64675 (neotype) [Morphotype D] B SMNS 64674/11a [Morphotype CM]. Scale bar = 2 mm.
© Copyright Policy - creative-commons-attribution
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3095134&req=5

Figure 4: Representative Randeck Maar honey bees (Apis armbrusteri Zeuner). A SMNS 64675 (neotype) [Morphotype D] B SMNS 64674/11a [Morphotype CM]. Scale bar = 2 mm.
Mentions: The fossil material studied originates from the Staatliches Museum für Naturkunde, Stuttgart (SMNS), the Heimatmuseum Göppingen Jebenhausen (HMJ), and the Paläontologisches Museum Nierstein (PMN) (Figs 2–5). Additional Apis armbrusteri specimens are present in the Urwelt-Museum Hauff but were already considered in detail by Armbruster (1938a). A re-examination of the majority of the specimens described in Armbruster (1938a) was impossible since many of these were covered in Canada balsam, ironically used by Armbruster to preserve the bees (Armbruster 1938a, 1939), but which has darkened over time. Removing the balsam likely will lead to the destruction of many important features. In total, 18 not yet described specimens of Apis armbrusteri are introduced in this work (Table 1).

Bottom Line: Previously unrecorded specimens from Randeck Maar were compared with earlier series in an attempt to evaluate the observed variation.The resulting dendrogram shows considerable variation concerning the wing venation of Miocene Apini, but intergradation of other morphological characters reveals no clear pattern of separate species.The pattern also supports the notion that the multiple species and subspecies proposed by earlier authors for the Randeck Maar honey bee fauna are not valid, and all are accordingly recognized as Apis armbrusteri Zeuner.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Geologisch-Paläontologisches Institut, Universität Hamburg, Bundesstraße 55, D-20146 Hamburg, Germany.

ABSTRACT
The Miocene Randeck Maar (southwestern Germany) is one of the only sites with abundant material of fossil honey bees. The fauna has been the focus of much scrutiny by early authors who recognized multiple species or subspecies within the fauna. The history of work on the Randeck Maar is briefly reviewed and these fossils placed into context with other Tertiary and living species of the genus Apis Linnaeus (Apinae: Apini). Previously unrecorded specimens from Randeck Maar were compared with earlier series in an attempt to evaluate the observed variation. A morphometric analysis of forewing venation angles across representative Recent and Tertiary species of Apis as well as various non-Apini controls was undertaken to evaluate the distribution of variation in fossil honey bees. The resulting dendrogram shows considerable variation concerning the wing venation of Miocene Apini, but intergradation of other morphological characters reveals no clear pattern of separate species. This suggests that a single, highly variable species was present in Europe during the Miocene. The pattern also supports the notion that the multiple species and subspecies proposed by earlier authors for the Randeck Maar honey bee fauna are not valid, and all are accordingly recognized as Apis armbrusteri Zeuner.

No MeSH data available.