We found bees with characteristics of both workers and queens in African honey bee, Apis mellifera scutellata Lepeletier, colonies, African usurpation swarms and in colonies of European honey bees, Apis mellifera L., in the southwestern United States. The intermorphs are similar to workers in the shape of their head and mandibles, weight, body length, and width of their thorax. Intermorphs have corbiculae that are similar to those of workers and do not have developed ovaries or enlarged spermathecae. However, intermorphs physically resemble small virgin queens because of the shape of their abdomens and the number and distribution of hairs on their bodies. Intermorphs also emit volatile compounds that are similar to those emitted by queens but different from those emitted by workers. Intermediate morphs between honey bee workers and queens have been described previously, but this is the first description of naturally occurring intermorphs in African bees in the New World.
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Vol. 97 • No. 6