Scientific article
Open access

Geographical variation in abdominal colour pattern in Criorhina pachymera (Egger, 1858) (Diptera: Syrphidae)

Published inJournaal van syrphidae, vol. 2, no. 2, p. 1-16
Publication date2023-03-24
First online date2023-03-24

The bee-mimicking hoverfly species Criorhina pachymera shows pronounced geographical variation in abdominal colour pattern. Based on 218 records from 22 European countries, we describe six abdomen forms divided over two main groups. Group A in western, northern and central parts of Europe contains abdomen forms A1–A3 with slender pollinose bands on the third and fourth tergite. Group B in south-eastern Europe contains forms B1–B3 with broad pollinose bands. These groups are separated by the Alps and the Carpathians, such as the separation of the original distributions of the two main postglacial recolonization lineages of honey bees in Europe. As these honey bee groups differ by the width of the pollinose bands on the third to fifth tergite, Batesian mimicry can explain the group distribution of C. pachymera with slender or broad pollinose bands. The different forms of C. pachymera in both groups are categorised by the extent of orange colouration on the second and third tergite. The darkest form A1, has a widespread distribution in Europe. Intermediate bright forms A2 and A3 occur predominantly in a belt along the southern margin of the group A distribution and in Sweden. Dark form B1 and intermediate bright form B2 occur on the Balkan peninsula and in neighbouring regions. The brightest form B3, is found in Italy, Switzerland (Ticino) and Greece. There is an average increase in the extent of orange colouration on the second and third tergite with decreasing geographical latitude, making temperature a likely additional cause for the described abdominal colour variation.

  • Hoverflies
  • Colour variation
  • Biogeography
  • Batesian mimicry
  • Citizen science data
Citation (ISO format)
BISSCHOP, Jan, DE GROOT, Maarten Cornelis Adriaan, PETREMAND, Gaël. Geographical variation in abdominal colour pattern in <i>Criorhina pachymera</i> (Egger, 1858) (Diptera: Syrphidae). In: Journaal van syrphidae, 2023, vol. 2, n° 2, p. 1–16. doi: 10.55710/1.XVVS8818
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal2949-6748

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