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Delineating species for conservation using mitochondrial sequence data: the taxonomic status of two problematic Bombus species (Hymenoptera: Apidae)

Delineating species for conservation using mitochondrial sequence data: the taxonomic status of two problematic Bombus species (Hymenoptera: Apidae)
Delineating species for conservation using mitochondrial sequence data: the taxonomic status of two problematic Bombus species (Hymenoptera: Apidae)
Across Western Europe and North America, many bumblebee species are currently undergoing drastic declines in their abundance and ranges, primarily as a result of habitat fragmentation. In contrast, a smaller number of species are seemingly unaffected by this and remain common. The UK Biodiversity Action Plan-designated Bombus ruderatus belongs to the former group while B. hortorum belongs to the latter. These two species are sympatric and remarkably similar in morphology. There are no diagnostic characters for workers and male genitalia are illustrated with the same diagram in standard keys. Isolated records of putative B. ruderatus occur amongst a mass of records for B. hortorum. This raises two important issues: first, are B. ruderatus and B. hortorum 'good' species? Second, if they are, can the uncertainty over their identification be resolved? We present COII and cytochrome b mtDNA sequence data from these and other Bombus species. Molecular data and coat colour characters are in concordance and confirm that B. ruderatus and B. hortorum should be regarded as separate species (although coat colour alone is an unreliable diagnostic character for many individuals). Confirmation of the specific status of B. ruderatus allows the work on the conservation of this species to continue.
conservation, species abundance, biodiversity, habitat fragmentation
1366-638X
75-83
Ellis, J.S.
0c753fa4-bc41-4270-a80c-eb0c8d22d5a9
Knight, M.E.
8fc4d7ce-da18-4d05-a392-995da9d1f6de
Goulson, D.
edf7f1d7-7e58-40c3-88e8-81a43ca89efd
Ellis, J.S.
0c753fa4-bc41-4270-a80c-eb0c8d22d5a9
Knight, M.E.
8fc4d7ce-da18-4d05-a392-995da9d1f6de
Goulson, D.
edf7f1d7-7e58-40c3-88e8-81a43ca89efd

Ellis, J.S., Knight, M.E. and Goulson, D. (2005) Delineating species for conservation using mitochondrial sequence data: the taxonomic status of two problematic Bombus species (Hymenoptera: Apidae). Journal of Insect Conservation, 9 (2), 75-83. (doi:10.1007/s10841-004-4168-0).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Across Western Europe and North America, many bumblebee species are currently undergoing drastic declines in their abundance and ranges, primarily as a result of habitat fragmentation. In contrast, a smaller number of species are seemingly unaffected by this and remain common. The UK Biodiversity Action Plan-designated Bombus ruderatus belongs to the former group while B. hortorum belongs to the latter. These two species are sympatric and remarkably similar in morphology. There are no diagnostic characters for workers and male genitalia are illustrated with the same diagram in standard keys. Isolated records of putative B. ruderatus occur amongst a mass of records for B. hortorum. This raises two important issues: first, are B. ruderatus and B. hortorum 'good' species? Second, if they are, can the uncertainty over their identification be resolved? We present COII and cytochrome b mtDNA sequence data from these and other Bombus species. Molecular data and coat colour characters are in concordance and confirm that B. ruderatus and B. hortorum should be regarded as separate species (although coat colour alone is an unreliable diagnostic character for many individuals). Confirmation of the specific status of B. ruderatus allows the work on the conservation of this species to continue.

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More information

Submitted date: 12 July 2004
Published date: June 2005
Keywords: conservation, species abundance, biodiversity, habitat fragmentation

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 56855
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/56855
ISSN: 1366-638X
PURE UUID: ce50325b-456a-450e-b476-76338f6d5c56

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 06 Aug 2008
Last modified: 13 Mar 2019 20:34

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Contributors

Author: J.S. Ellis
Author: M.E. Knight
Author: D. Goulson

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