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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Body Size and Taxonomic Influence on BeeWing-Vein Density


This study investigated bee forewing vein density as it relates to body size and taxonomic group. Within the entomological field of study, it is known anecdotally that wing venation is primarily conserved at the genus level more than any other taxonomic level. Using dorsal and slide-plated wing images, wing vein density (WVD) and intertegular span (ITS) was measured for bee species within different genera and families. A novel way of effectively measuring WVD was developed, a measurement that combines many previously used vein morphology characteristics. The study found that both taxonomic level and body size influence WVD, of which the taxonomic level of genus has the most significant effect, regardless of body size. Thus, this paper found that WVD can be useful for determining genus within a family and gives further insight into insect wing vein evolution.

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