Allozyme analyses have suggested that Neotropical orchid bee (Euglossini) pollinators are vulnerable because of putative high frequencies of diploid males, a result of loss of sex allele diversity in small hymenopteran populations with single locus complementary sex determination. Our analysis of 1010 males from 27 species of euglossine bees sampled across the Neotropics at 2-11 polymorphic microsatellite loci revealed only 5 diploid males at an overall frequency of 0.005 (95% CIs 0.002-0.010); errors through genetic non-detection of diploid males were likely small. In contrast to allozyme-based studies, we detected very weak or insignificant population genetic structure, even for a pair of populations >500 km apart, possibly accounting for low diploid male frequencies. Technical flaws in previous allozyme-based analyses have probably led to considerable overestimation of diploid male production in orchid bees. Other factors may have a more immediate impact on population persistence than the genetic load imposed by diploid males on these important Neotropical pollinators.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
Souza, R. O., Del Lama, M. A., Cervini, M., Mortari, N., Eltz, T., Zimmermann, Y., Bach, C., Brosi, B. J., Suni, S., Quezada-Euan, J. J. G., & Paxton, R. (2010). Conservation genetics of Neotropical pollinators revisited: microsatellite analysis suggests that diploid males are rare in orchid bees. Evolution, 64(11), 3318-3326. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1558-5646.2010.01052.x