martes, 11 de octubre de 2016

Hurtado-Burillo M, Jara L, May-Itzá W de J, Quezada-Eúan J J G, Ruiz C,  De la Rúa P (2016) A geometric morphometric and microsatellite analyses of Scaptotrigona mexicana and S. pectoralis (Apidae: Meliponini) sheds light on the biodiversity of Mesoamerican stingless bees. J. Ins. Cons. 20 (5): 753-763.


Geometric morphometrics and molecular methods are effective tools to study the variability of stingless bee populations and species that merit protection given their worldwide decline. Based on previous evidence of cryptic lineages within the Scaptotrigona genus, we tested the existence of multiple evolutionary lineages within the species S. mexicana and we investigated the status of S. pectoralis. By analyzing their population structure, we found differences between the Pacific and Atlantic populations of each of these species, although geometric morphometrics of the wing only confirmed these results in S. mexicana. There was a tendency towards enhanced genetic differentiation over larger distances in the Atlantic populations of both species but not in the Pacific populations. These results revealed a pattern of differentiation among evolutionary units and a specific distribution of genetic diversity within these Scaptotrigona species in Mesoamerica, suggesting the need for future taxonomic revisions, as well as activities aimed at management and conservation.

Hurtado-Burillo M, May-Itzá W de J, Quezada-Euán JJG, De la Rúa P, Ruiz C (2017) Multilocus species delimitation in Mesoamerican Scaptotrigona stingless bees (Apidae: Meliponini) supports the existence of cryptic species. Syst Entom. 42 (1): 171-181.

Accelerating taxonomic knowledge and making accurate species identifications are critically important given the current biodiversity crisis, particularly in biodiversity hotspots such as Mesoamerica. Objective species delimitation that reduces investigator-driven bias is fundamental to the establishment of appropriate conservation strategies, above all in managed species. Previous morphological and molecular studies on three managed stingless bee species of the genus Scaptotrigona distributed in Mexico (S. mexicana, S. pectoralis and S. hellwegeri) suggested that both S. mexicana and S. hellwegeri are cryptic species complexes. Herein we tested species delimitation by analysing sequence information of five markers (two mitochondrial: cox1 and 16S, and three nuclear: ITS1, EF1-α, ArgK) within a Bayesian coalescent framework to test the putative species. We obtained two different hypotheses using a Generalized Mixed Yule Coalescent (GMYC) model: four (cox1) and six (16S) species. After the species validation step with the Bayesian species-delimitation analysis (BPP), we suggest that only S. mexicana is a complex of two species with different distribution (along the Pacific and the Atlantic coasts, respectively). We highly recommend avoiding colony exchange between geographical regions in order to conserve the genetic integrity of both taxa.

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