Morphology, morphometrics, and molecular characteristics of Apis cerana and Apis nigrocincta from Central Sulawesi, Indonesia

Nuraini Nuraini, Hari Purwanto


Systematics of honey bees has developed rapidly. Several studies have attempted to infer the kinship between each group of honey bees.  One approach is the use identification and phylogenetic analysis using combination of morphology, morphometric, and molecular characteristics data. There are three species of honey bees found in the Central Sulawesi, namely Apis dorsata, A. cerana and A. nigrocincta. The last two species mentioned have similar biological properties, so they present some difficulties to identify especially with morphological characters only. The results showed that the two Apis bee species analyzed in this study, had similar morphological features compared to specimens of the same species from the other regions, whereas the morphometry of the two had variations in size compared to the same species that have been reported in other regions. The variations in the size or morphometric character of worker bees, both those with a larger or smaller size, possibly being a form of morphological adaptation to different environmental conditions. The CO1 and 16S Mitochondrial DNA sequencesof A. cerana and A. nigrocincta from this studywere similarto thesequences of the same species in the GeneBank’s database. This study provide preliminary data contributing to the preservation and utilization of one of Indonesia’s important biodiversity resources.


Central Sulawesi; honey bees; morphology; morphometrics; molecular

Full Text:



Amin E., Rebecca T. K., Edward L. B., Stefan F., Bernd G. & James D. E. (2017). The complete mitochondrial genome and phylogenetic placement of Apis nigrocincta Smith (Insecta: Hymenoptera: Apidae), an Asian, cavity-nesting honey bee. Mitochondrial DNA Part B. 2 (1) : 249-250. DOI: 10.1080/23802359.2017.1318683

Christian A. L., Max T., Jimmy P. & Trina E. T. (2020). Bacterial Composition, Community Structure, and Diversity in Apis nigrocincta Gut. International Journal of Microbiology. 2 (1) : 3-4. Doi :

Damus M. S. & Otis G. W. (1997). A morphometric analysis of A. cerana F and A. nigrocincta Smith populations from Southeast Asia. Apidologie 28: 309- 323. DOI : 10.1051/apido:19970507

Engel M. S. (2012). The Honey Bees of Indonesia (Hymenoptera: Apidae). Treubia39: 41-49. DOI: 10.14203/treubia.v39i0.22

Fakrudin, B., Babu, K. O., & Yerimani. (2013). AGenetic Diversity and Phylogeography of Apis cerana Fabricius. Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology Govt of India. 1(2): 5-13.

Hadisoesilo S. (2001). Keanekaragaman spesies lebah madu asli Indonesia. Biodiversitas 2: 123-128.

Hadisoesilo S. & Otis G. W. (1996). Drone flight times confirm the species status of Apis nigrocincta Smith, 1861 to be a species distinct from Apis cerana F. in Sulawesi, Indonesia. Apidologie 27: 361-369. DOI : 10.1051/apido:19960504

Hadisoesilo S. & Otis G. W. (1998). Differences in drone cappings of Apis cerana and Apis nigrocincta. J. Apic. Res. 37: 11-15. DOI : 10.1080/00218839.1998.11100948

Hadisoesilo S., Otis G. W. & Meixner M. (1995). Two ditinct populations of cavity-nesting honey bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae) in South Sulawesi, Indonesia. J. Kansas Entomol. Soc. 68: 399-407.

Hadisoesilo S., Meixner M. & Rutter F. (1999). Geographic variation within Apis koschevnikovi Buttel-Reepen, 1906 in Borneo. Treubia 31: 305-311. DOI : 10.14203/treubia.v31i3.612

Hall R. (2013). The palaeography of Sundaland and Wallacea since the late Jurrasic. Journal of Limnology 72: 1-7.http://doi/Org/10.4081/jlimnol.2013.s2.el

Hidayat T. & Pancoro A. (2008). Kajian Filogenetika Molekuler dan Peranannya dalam Menyediakan Informasi Dasar untuk Meningkatkan Kualitas Sumber Genetik. Jurnal Agro Biogen 4: 35-40.

Jasmi S., Salmah D. & Syamsuardi. (2012). Studi morfologi Apis spp (Hymenoptera: Apidae) yang bersarang dalam rongga di Sumatera Barat dengan Program Komputer. Seminar. Jurusan Biologi FMIPA Universitas Andalas. Padang.

Jolliffe L. T. (2002). Principal Component Analysis, Second Edition. New York: Springer-Verlag.

Ken T., Natapot W. & Deborah S. (2009). Mitochondrial DNA diversity of ChineseApis cerana. Apidologie. 38 (2) : 238-246. DOI: 10.1051/apido:2007008

Kumar S., Stecher G., Li M., Knyaz C. & Tamura K. (2018). MEGA X: Molecular Evolutionary Genetics Analysis across

Computing Platforms. Mol. Biol. 35(6): 1547–1549. doi:10.1093/molbev/ msy096

Maa T. C. (1953). An inquiry inti the systematics of the tribus Apidini or honeybees (Hymenoptera). Treubia 21: 525-640. https://doi/full/10.1080/23802359.2018.1450672

Mahendran B., Ghosh S. K. & Kundu S. C. (2006). Molecular phylogeny of silkproducing insects based on 16S ribosomal RNA and cytochrome oxidase subunit I genes. J. Genetic 85: 31-38.DOI: 10.1007/BF02728967

Maria C. A. & Walter S. S. (2012). Phylogenetic relationships of honey bees (Hymenoptera:Apinae:Apini) inferred from nuclear and mitochondrial DNA sequence data. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 37 (5) : 25–35. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2005.02.017

Michener C. D. (2007). The Bees of The World. Second Edition. The Johns Hopkins Univ. Pr, Baltimore, USA.

Na-nokorn U. K., Sriphairoj S., Sukmanomon S., Poompuang & Kamonrat W. (2006). Polymorphic microsatellite from DNA of the endangered Mekong giant catfish, Pangasianodon gigas (Chevey), and crossspecies amplification in three species of Pangasius. Mol Ecol 6: 1174-1176.DOI: 10.1111/j.1471-8286.2006.01481.x

Novita R. S. & Sutriyono. (2013). Analisis morfometrik lebah madu pekerja Apis cerana budidaya pada dua ketinggian tempat yang berbeda. Jurnal Sains Peternakan Indonesia 8: 41-56.

Otis G. W. (1996). Distributions of recently recognized species of honey bees (Apis spp.) in Asia. J Kansas Entomology Soc Supp 69: 311-333.

Raffiudin R., Sosromarsono, Ratna E. S. & Solihin DD. (1999). Keragaman morfologi lebah Apis cerana (Hymenoptera: Apidae) di Jawa Barat. Journal HPT IPB Bogor 20-25.

Roubik D. W. (1989). Stingless bee nesting biology. Apidologie 37: 124-143.DOI: 10.1051/apido: 2006026

Ruttner, F. (1992). Naturgeschichte der Honigbienen. Ehrenwirth Verlag, Munich.

Saadudin A. M., Himat A. & Prasetyo L. B. (2012). Pemetaan kesesuaian habitat Rafflesia rochussenii di Resort Tapos Tman Nasional Gunung Gede Pengrango. Media Konservasi 17: 35-41.

Saitou N. & Nei M. (1987). The neighbor-joining method: A new method for reconstructing phylogenetic trees. Molecular Biology and Evolution 4:406-425.

Siok P. K., Nyuk L. C., Sheau W. T., Yus A. Y., Lee S. C. (2016). Molecular identification of honey entomological origin based on bee mitochondrial 16S rRNA and COI gene sequences. Food Control. 5 (1) : 24-28. DOI: 10.1016/j.foodcont.2017.02.025

Ydney A. Cameron, & Patrick M. (2001). Multiple Molecular Data Sets Suggest Independen t Origins of Highly Eusocial Behavior in Bees (Hymenoptera:Apinae ). Syst Biol. 50 (2): 194 –214

Takahashi J., Hadisoesilo S., Okuyama H. & Hepburn H. R. (2017). Analysis of the complete mitochondrial genome of Apis nigrocincta (Insecta: Hymenoptera: Apidae) on Sangihe Island in Indonesia. Conservation Genetics Resources. 10(4): 22-32.

Tanaka H., D. W. Roubik., M. K., Liew, & Gunsalam. (2001). Phylogenetic position of Apis nuluensisof northern Borneo and phylogeography of A. cerana as inferred from mitochondrial DNA sequences. Insectes soc. 48 (1) : 44 – 51

Thummajitsakul S., Silprasit K., Klinbunga S. & Sittipraneed S. (2013). The partialmitochondrial sequence of the Old Worldstingless bee, Tetragonula pagdeni. JGenetic 92: 1-5.DOI: 10.1007/s12041-013-0243-1

Tingek S., Koeniger G. & Koeniger N. (1996). Description of a new cavity dwellng species of Apis (Apis nuluensis) from Sabah. Borneo with note on its occurrence and reproductive biology (Hymenoptera: Apoidea, Apini). Senckenbergiana Biologica 76: 115-119.

Whitfield J. B. & Cameron S. A. (1998). Hierarchical analysis of variation in themitochondrial 16S Rrna gene amongHymenoptera. Mol Biol Evol 15: 1728-1743.

Whitmore T. C. (1975). Tropical Rain Forest of the Far East. Clarendon Press, Oxford.

Zemlak T. S., Ward R. D., Connel A. D., Holmes B. H. & Hebert P. D. N. (2009). DNA barcoding reveals overlooked marine fisher. Mol Ecol Resour 9: 237-24.


  • There are currently no refbacks.