Ceratina (Calloceratina)

Taxonomy

Family: Apidae
Subfamily: Xylocopinae
Tribe: Ceratinini
Genus: Ceratina Latreille, 1802
Subgenus: Calloceratina Cockerell, 1924
Common name: small carpenter bees

Overview

Species of Calloceratina are usually metallic green or blue, sometimes with a red abdomen and pale maculations limited to the face, pronotal lobes, and legs. The total body length varies from 6.5–13.5 mm (Michener 2007).

Diagnostic characteristics

(modified from Michener 2007; Malhmann 2011)

  • Gena smooth, with polished, impunctate areas.
  • Graduli present on T2T4 and sometimes T5.
  • Marginal cell of forewing at least twice as long as the distance from its apex to the apex of wing.
  • Maxillary palps composed of five or six segments.
  • Ocelli with a conspicuous sulci posteriorly.
  • Preoccipital carina present.
  • Females, and some males, with basitibial represented by a conspicuous carina.
  • Female mandibles with three teeth, only two in males.

May be confused with

Species of Ceratina (Calloceratina) may be confused with other species in the subgenus C. (Crewella) because of the presence of strong lateral carina on the sides of pronotum. In species where the pronotal carina is weak, there is a strong oblique carina along the posterior margin of the basitibial plate. The two subgenera can be separated by the absence of pale or yellow maculations on the paraocular areas and genae, and by the absence of a spine on the posterior margin of the basitibial plate in C. (Calloceratina).

Host associations

Calloceratina have been found visiting flowers of 17 families, 27 genera, and 29 species of plants (Malhmann 2011), including Asteraceae (Elvira biflora, Baccharis sp., Bidens sp., Neurolaena lobata, Vemonia sp.), Cactaceae (Epiphyllum truncatum), Convolvulaceae (Ipomoea spp., Merremia dissecta), Cucurbitaceae (Cucurbita sp., Gurania bigoniacea, Psiguria bignoniacea), Euphorbiaceae (Chamaesyce sp.), Fabaceae (Calliandra sp., Leucaena leucocephala), Guttiferae (Vismia baccifera), Lythraceae (Cuphea balsamona): Malvaceae (Gossypum barbadense, Gossypum spp., Hibiscus tiliaceu), Mimosoideae (Pityrocarpa moniliformis), Palmae (Astrocaryum standleyanum), Prockieae (Prockia crucis), Rubiaceae (Genipa americana), Sterculiaceae (Helicteres guazumaefolia, Sterculia apetala), Tiliaceae (Luehea seemanii), Tumeraceae (Tumera panamensis); Zygophyllaceae (Kallostroemia maxima). However, (Gonzalez et al. 2004) found that the vast majority (95-100%) of pollen that was collected by C. mexicana currani belonged to Chamaesyce sp. (Euphorbiaceae), but as many as eight different plant families were present in trace amounts.

Nesting behavior

Ceratina (Calloceratina) have been found nesting in dry, pithy stems with round entrances between 4.6–6 mm in diameter and tunnels from 8.7–16 cm in length (Friese 1925; Gonzalez et al. 2004). Some species of C. (Calloceratina) facultatively develop colonies of adults (Michener 1990).

Diversity

Ceratina (Calloceratina) contains 15 described species (Ascher and Pickering 2020); however, Malhmann (2011) lists an additional 14 new species, but these are not yet described.

Known invasives

Ceratina (Calloceratina) cobaltina has been sporadically collected in the in central Texas, U.S. since the 1970s. These collections, however, may just represent an adventive range expansion since it occurs in northern Mexico (National Research Council 2007).

Distribution

Ceratina (Calloceratina) are found primarily in the New World tropics from Bolivia to northern Mexico. One species, Ceratina cobaltina, has been collected sporadically in central Texas since the late 1970s (National Research Council 2007).

Distribution
​Distribution map generated by Discover Life -- click on map for details, credits, and terms of use.

<p><em>Ceratina eximia</em> female face, photo: Chelsey Ritner</p>
Ceratina eximia female face, photo: Chelsey Ritner
<p><em>Ceratina eximia</em> female lateral habitus, photo: Chelsey Ritner</p>
Ceratina eximia female lateral habitus, photo: Chelsey Ritner
<p><em>Ceratina eximia</em> female dorsal habitus, photo: Chelsey Ritner</p>
Ceratina eximia female dorsal habitus, photo: Chelsey Ritner
<p><em>Ceratina eximia</em> male face, photo: Chelsey Ritner</p>
Ceratina eximia male face, photo: Chelsey Ritner
<p><em>Ceratina eximia </em>male lateral habitus, photo: Chelsey Ritner</p>
Ceratina eximia male lateral habitus, photo: Chelsey Ritner
<p><em>Ceratina eximia</em> male dorsal habitus, photo: Chelsey Ritner</p>
Ceratina eximia male dorsal habitus, photo: Chelsey Ritner
<p><em>Ceratina tegmata</em> female lateral habitus. Photo: Chelsey Ritner</p>
Ceratina tegmata female lateral habitus. Photo: Chelsey Ritner
<p><em>Ceratina sp. </em>Photo: Chelsey Ritner</p>
Ceratina sp. Photo: Chelsey Ritner
<p>photo: Chelsey Ritner</p>
photo: Chelsey Ritner
<p><em>Ceratina eximia</em>, female lateral abdomen. photo: Chelsey Ritner</p>
Ceratina eximia, female lateral abdomen. photo: Chelsey Ritner
<p><em>Ceratina sp.</em> male abdomen. photo: Chelsey Ritner</p>
Ceratina sp. male abdomen. photo: Chelsey Ritner
<p><em>Ceratina eximia</em>, female abdomen. photo: Chelsey Ritner</p>
Ceratina eximia, female abdomen. photo: Chelsey Ritner
<p><em>Ceratina eximia</em>, female. photo: Chelsey Ritner</p>
Ceratina eximia, female. photo: Chelsey Ritner
<p><em>Ceratina eximia</em>, female. photo: Chelsey Ritner</p>
Ceratina eximia, female. photo: Chelsey Ritner