This is the first account of molecular and morphological characteristics of the stingless bee, Tetragonula iridipennis (Smith, 1854) from the Punjab (Northern India). The species was originally described from Sri Lanka. Using the standard barcoding protocols, cytochrome c oxidase subunit I marker (standard DNA barcode region) based DNA barcode sequence of the species has been established, as a first step towards DNA barcode library for stingless bees of Punjab. The barcode sequence generated for the species has been registered by GenBank, National Centre for Biotechnology Information under accession ‘KT960851’ and Barcode of Life Data Systems under Barcode Index Number ‘BOLD:ACT1038’. The host plant associations for T. iridipennis in Punjab are provided. Taxonomic comments on T. iridipennis and metric values of 40 morphological characters are also presented. The results can be used to further study the ecotypes in different parts of country, plant-pollinator interactions, habitat management and conservation programmes for stingless bees. Further, the precise identification of T. iridipennis and the inventory of its foraging plants would enhance its use as potential pollinator of crops, especially grown under protective cultivation wherein the Apis species are little useful and the hand pollination is highly laborious and costly.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, India Section B: Biological Sciences – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 27, 2016
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