Apis cerana japonica Radoszkowski population on Amami Island is thought to be hereditarily isolated from the mainland population. On Amami Island, the absence of a major mainland predator, Vespa mandarinia japonica Radoszkowski, which mass-attacks various social bees and wasps, is another marked difference. In this paper, we preliminarily report the possibility of Vespa analis eisa Yamane as an influential natural enemy according to beekeepers' observations, photographs and video recording on the attack of Vespa analis eisa and the subsequent formation of bee defensive balls (14 times). The body-size ratio of Vespa analis eisa to Amami A. cerana was more similar to that of V. mandarinia to mainland A. cerana, than it was to that of Vespa analis insularis Dalla Torre to mainland A. cerana. Furthermore, V. analis colonies on Amami had larger colonies than on the mainland. Overall, it appears that V. analis eisa is a potential predator of A. cerana, though more information on the ecological relationship between these species is needed before a firm conclusion can be drawn.
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Vol. 129 • No. 4