Ceratina (Catoceratina)


Family: Apidae
Subfamily: Xylocopinae
Tribe: Ceratinini
Genus: Ceratina Latreille, 1802
Subgenus: Catoceratina Vecht, 1952
Common name: small carpenter bees


Ceratina (Catoceratina) are robust bees with black integument with distinct yellow markings on the body. They can range in body length from 8.0–10.5 mm (Michener 2007).

Diagnostic characteristics

(modified from Hirashima 1971a)

May be confused with

Ceratina (Catoceratina) resemble species in C. (Ceratinidia) with their abundant yellow markings and the presence of a preoccipital carina. C. (Catoceratina) can be distinguished from C. (Ceratinidia) by the impunctate paraocular area above the antennal socket and by the dense, curled scopal hairs on the sterna.

Host associations

Ceratina perforatrix has been documented visiting flowers of a number of different plant species in different families including; Costaceae (Cheilocostus speciosus), Goodeniaceae (Scaevola sericea), Acanthaceae (Asystasia gangetica, Ruellia malacosperma, and Strobilanthes cusia), Cucurbitaceae (Luffa aegyptiaca), Lamiaceae (Vitex trifolia); Melastomataceae (Dissotis rotundifolias and Melastoma malabathricum), and Turneraceae (Turnera subulata) (Kwan 2020; Soh and Ngiam 2013).

Nesting behavior

Nesting habits are unknown, but in general all species of the genus Ceratina nest in pithy or hollowed stems and twigs (Michener 2007).


Ceratina (Catoceratina) includes two species; although the placement of Ceratina (Catoceratina) spledida has been questioned and may need to be investigated further (Shiokawa 2008; Warrit 2009).

Known invasives

There are no known invasives.


Ceratina (Catoceratina) occur from Burma, Thailand, and the Philippine Islands south to Sumatra, Java, and Borneo (Vecht 1952; Hirashima 1971a).

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

<p><em>Ceratina perforatrix </em>female face, photo: Chelsey Ritner</p>
Ceratina perforatrix female face, photo: Chelsey Ritner
<p><em>Ceratina perforatrix </em>female lateral habitus, photo: Chelsey Ritner</p>
Ceratina perforatrix female lateral habitus, photo: Chelsey Ritner
<p><em>Ceratina perforatrix </em>female abdomen, photo: Chelsey Ritner</p>
Ceratina perforatrix female abdomen, photo: Chelsey Ritner
<p><em>Ceratina perforatrix</em>, female. photo: Colleen Meidt</p>
Ceratina perforatrix, female. photo: Colleen Meidt