Substantial genetic divergence and lack of recent gene flow support cryptic speciation in a colour polymorphic bumble bee (Bombus bifarius) species complex

Guillaume Ghisbain, Jeffrey D. Lozier, Sarthok Rasique Rahman, Briana D. Ezray, Li Tian, Jonah M. Ulmer, Sam D. Heraghty, James P. Strange, Pierre Rasmont & Heather M. Hines
Phenotypic polymorphism can constitute an inherent challenge for species delimitation. This issue is exemplified in bumble bees (Bombus), where species can exhibit high colour variation across their range, but otherwise exhibit little morphological variation to distinguish them from close relatives. We examine the species status of one of the most abundant North American bumble bees, Bombus bifarius Cresson, which historically was comprised of two major taxa, bifarius s.s. (sensu stricto) and nearcticus. These sublineages are...
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