Morphological Characterization and a Morphometry Map for Varroa Mites from Northwest of Egypt

Varroa mite, Varroa destructor, is the most destructive factor to western honey bee colonies worldwide. In
1904, Varroa was firstly recorded on honey bees, at the beginning it was hypothesized that Varroa is one species but recently this hypothesis has been considered to be incorrect. In 1983, Varroa mite was recorded in Egypt for first time. So far, a single study was done in Egypt to confirm Varroa species to be V. destructor and not Varroa jacobsoni as it was previously thought. Still the exact haplotype of Varroa in Egypt is unknown. This study is a step towards the identification of Varroa in Egypt. Here, morphological investigations were performed on Varroa specimens belong to northwest Egypt (El-Behera governorate). Three characteristics only showed significant differences among
districts, namely body width, genital shield width, and genital shield length/ genital shield width (ratio II), while the rest of
characteristics did not present any significant differences. The correlations among the characteristics were very weak,
except body length which correlated significantly (P<0.05) with body width and genital shield width by 0.52 and 0.42, in
respect. The study presented additional confirmation that V. destructor is the current species infesting honey bee colonies in Egypt. Also, Varroa haplotype was identified to be the Korean one. A list of some morphological traits of Varroa mite was provided to enable further comparisons. A morphometry map for Varroa mites was also done using a geographical information system (GIS) to correlate between geographical locations and morphological characteristics. The morphometry map clearly classified studied districts, according to measured characteristics, into three classes as low, moderate and high. This study has a significant importance towards the fully understanding of Varroa populations in Egypt.


Abou-Shaara, H.F. and R.M. Tabikha (2016). Morphological characterization and a morphometry map for Varroa mites from northwest of Egypt. Agronomical Research in Moldavia, 49 (4): 75-84.

Supported by

Ricola Foundation


University of Bern

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