Genus: Ceratina Latreille, 1802
Subgenus: Calloceratina Cockerell, 1924
Common name: small carpenter bees
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).
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).
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.
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).
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).
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).