PAKISTAN JOURNAL OF ZOOLOGY, vol.47, no.6, pp.1525-1532, 2015 (SCI-Expanded)
There are several unaddressed problems in the taxonomy of bumblebees which motivate researchers to look for alternative methods. The morphological characters of the male genitalia are reliable and also distinctive for bumblebee taxonomy as in most of the other in ect groups. However, it is always used to identify species of bumblebees but not used in its higher classification. Maybe -because of the complex morphology, quantitative analysis such as geometric morphometrics on the male genitalia have been neglected so far. The structure of this organ is not proper for 2D-landmark based morphometrics. Therefore, we aimed to make an Elliptic Fourier shape Analysis (EFA) to explore the shape differences of male genitalia Among the members of four different subgenera (Megabombus Dalla Torre, Melanobombus Dalla Torre, Subterraneobombus Vogt and Thorachobombus Dalla Torre) of Bombus (s. lato) Latreille distributed in Turkey. Nineteen species were used for analysis and their Elliptic Fourier Descriptors (EFDs) for dorsal view were described. Ordination methods, such as Canonical Variate Analysis (CVA) and Principle Component Analysis (PCA), were used to discriminate the different subgenera based on the male genitalia shape. As a result of these analyses all the methods gave us promising results in discriminating the subgeneric boundaries between previously assigned groups. This is the first study in which male genitalia of bumblebees were defined quantitatively. The results suggest an alternative methodology in establishing higher classification of bumblebees.