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Morphometric analysis in different geographical populations of Varroa destructor (Acari: Varroidae) associated with Apis mellifera colonies in Iran

Mahsa Farjamfar, Alireza Saboori, Jamasb Nozari, Vahid Hosseininaveh


Varroa destructor is a major ectoparasitic mite which feeds on the western honey bee, Apis mellifera hemolymph. Morphometric analysis of V. destructor in Iran was performed in order to detect differences within some populations of the species. Totally, 145 female mites were collected from A. mellifera colonies in different geographical regions in Iran and Europe (Spain and France). Eight morphological variables were measured: 1) length of dorsal shield (LDS), 2) width of dorsal shield (WDS), 3) length of genital shield (LGS), 4) width of genital shield (WGS), 5) length of metapodal shield (LMS), 6) width of metapodal shield (WMS), 7) length of anal shield (LAS) and 8) width of the anal shield (WAS). The ratios of LDS/WDS, WDS/LDS, LGS/WGS and LAS/WAS were also calculated. Multivariate analyses demonstrated significant differences in means of body length (LDS) and body width (WDS) between populations. Using principal component analysis (PCA) and cluster analysis with pair group method, five morphological groups were established. PCA analyses were also shown one morphotype, A3, between samples. Collectively, our findings suggest a wide phenotypic plasticity within the populations of Varroa mite in Iran.


Apis mellifera; Iran; morphotype; phenotypic plasticity; Varroa destructor


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