Morphometrics is a relatively powerful analytical tool for the identification of distinct species and subspecies of bees. Typically, within honey bees (Apidae: Apis), morphometric analysis has been used to differentiate the groups and species by using multiple body characteristics. However, these procedures are time-consuming for the suitable preparation of the samples and orientating each part into the correct plane for accurate measurement. Here, we were able to discriminate four honey bee species based on their wing venation pattern information only. Geometric morphometric measurements of the right forewing of drones and workers of Apis andreniformis Smith, Apis cerana F., Apis dorsata F., and Apis florea F. were analyzed. The results demonstrated that the patterns of forewing venation of native Thai honey bees between sexes in the same species were more closely related to each other than to honey bees of the same sex in another species. The wing venation pattern carried sufficient information to discriminate 99% of the individuals, and so the geometric morphometric analysis of the wing alone could be used to identify Asian honey bee species in most circumstances. In addition, the sex of the individual did not obstruct identification. Therefore, morphometric analysis of a single wing might be a useful tool for biodiversity studies of bees and other insects or fossil records. Many insect fossils are only known from a wing, including several fossil honey bees.
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