2.5.3. Recognising the instar of larvae

Rembold et al. (1980) and Michelette and Soares (1993) described the different larval instars based on head diameter for A. mellifera carnica from Germany (workers and queens; Table 8) and Africanised honey bees form Brazil (workers; Table 8), respectively. These measures provide a reliable method to identify larval instars, since head size of the various stages grow in a stepwise manner at each ecdysis. These authors also give the weight range of the different instars, which can also help identify them. However, the weight of the heaviest larvae of an instar can overlap with that of the lightest larvae of the next instar.

Table 8. Average head diameter and body weight range of workers and queens of A. mellifera carnica from Germany and Africanised honey bees from Brazil (after Rembold et al., 1980; Michelette and Soares, 1993).

 

 

Instar

Head diameter

(mm ± SD)

Weight

(mg, min. – max.)

Apis mellifera carnica

Workers

L1

0.33 ± 0.018

0.10 – 0.45

L2

0.47 ± 0.030

0.35 – 1.50

L3

0.70 ± 0.051

1.3 – 6.0

L4

1.05 ± 0.058

4.2 – 32

L5

1.58 ± 0.078

27 – 280

Queens

L1

0.33 ± 0.020

0.10 – 0.45

L2

0.48 ± 0.026

0.35 – 150

L3

0.72 ± 0.044

1.3 – 7.0

L4

1.11 ± 0.072

3.8 – 44

L5

1.69 ± 0.097

31 – 360

Africanised honey bees

Workers

L1

0.32 ± 0.026

0.11 – 0.30

L2

0.44 ± 0.032

0.31 – 1.05

L3

0.65 ± 0.045

1.50 – 4.45

L4

0.92 ± 0.094

4.80 – 24.8

L5

1.49 ± 0.048

24.30 – 126.7