HomeIAMURE International Journal of Ecology and Conservationvol. 11 no. 1 (2014)

Geometric Morphometric Analysis of Individual Variation in Bumblebee Wings

Ray Vincent E. Arana

Discipline: Ecology



The morphological features of an organism are an important source of information for many areas of biological study. Insect wing architectural design is believed to be an excellent system for studying morphological variation because of their firm or solidly cleared structures. It has been the center of geometric morphometric investigation in the past since insect’s wing pattern can provide details on their evolutionary history and flight performance. Wing shape and size disparity of fifty-nine individuals of bumblebee was explored to explain and figure out biological structure variation within similar species. Examination in both left and right forewings and hind wings was also considered to find out if phenotypic sexual dimorphism exists. The outline-based geometric morphometric technique was employed in this study to measure and evaluate wing shape and size variation among bumblebees. Results from mean shapes and scatter plot diagrams analysis revealed that individuals of bumblebee differ less with respect to shape. Overlapping of individuals is visible on both wings in both sexes, which shows absence of dimorphism. Male individuals have larger forewings compared to females. Slight variation was observed for both sexes in terms of hind wings, which indicates that both individuals exhibit common size characteristic and absence of dimorphism. The study concludes that size may be considered as a basis for sex determination and that wing size is somewhat a sexual dimorphic trait among bumblebee species.