Ceratina (Ceratina)

Taxonomy

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

Overview

Ceratina s. str. consists of non-metallic black bees with pale maculations limited to the head, pronotal lobe, and legs. The species in this subgenus vary from small to large, with the body length varying between 5–9 mm (Hirashima 1971a).

Diagnostic characteristics

(modified from Hirashima 1971a; Michener 2007)

  • Maxillary palpi 5- or 6-segmented.
  • Paraocular areas above antenna1 sockets punctate or at least with a few distinct punctures or with a row of fine punctures along inner margin of eye.
  • Female T1T5 and S1S5 with graduli present.
  • Male T5 without gradulus.
  • Male T7 usually truncate or rounded posteriorly but can be triangular in the chinensis species group.
  • Male S2 without tubercle.
  • Male gonostylus without a downward curving projection.

May be confused with

Some species of Ceratina (Ceratina), such as C. parvula Smith, may resemble species of C. (Ceratinula) because of their smooth and impunctate paraocular areas. However, they can be differentiated by having the inner orbits of the female subparallel (convergent below in Ceratinula) and by the male’s broadly truncate T7 with two slender, submedian apical spines (Michener 2007).

Host associations

There are few records of individual species visiting flowers of various plant families, including Boraginaceae, Brassicaceae, Cucurbitaceae, Molluginaceae, Zygophyllaceae (Rust et al. 2003; Gess and Roosenschoon 2016).

Nesting behavior

Nesting and biological information for the subgenus is limited. One species, C. cucurbitina, has been observed nesting in pithy stems of Rubus (Rosaceae) and potentially re-using old burrows (Daly 1983). Brood nests of this species can have 4 to 12 cells and are built in 3–4 mm wide burrows that are 90–170 mm deep (Grandi 1961). C. cucurbitina has also been reported sharing nests in stems with multiple species in different subgenera (Daly 1983).

Diversity

Ceratina (Ceratina) contains 29 species (Michener 2007; Sung and Shiokawa 2012; Ascher and Pickering 2020).

Known invasives

There are no known invasives.

Distribution

This subgenus is known to occur across the Old World and can be found throughout Africa, Asia, and Europe (Michener 2007).

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

<p><em>Ceratina ballotae </em>female face, photo: Joshua Hengel</p>
Ceratina ballotae female face, photo: Joshua Hengel
<p><em>Ceratina ballotae </em>female lateral habitus, photo: Joshua Hengel</p>
Ceratina ballotae female lateral habitus, photo: Joshua Hengel
<p><em>Ceratina braunsi </em>dorsal habitus, photo: Joshua Hengel</p>
Ceratina braunsi dorsal habitus, photo: Joshua Hengel
<p><em>Ceratina braunsi </em>male face, photo: Joshua Hengel</p>
Ceratina braunsi male face, photo: Joshua Hengel
<p><em>Ceratina braunsi </em>male lateral habitus, photo: Joshua Hengel</p>
Ceratina braunsi male lateral habitus, photo: Joshua Hengel
<p><em>Ceratina braunsi</em> male dorsal habitus, photo: Joshua Hengel</p>
Ceratina braunsi male dorsal habitus, photo: Joshua Hengel
<p><em>Ceratina braunsi</em>, male face. photo: Colleen Meidt</p>
Ceratina braunsi, male face. photo: Colleen Meidt
<p><em>Ceratina ballotae</em>, female lateral face. photo: Joshua Hengel</p>
Ceratina ballotae, female lateral face. photo: Joshua Hengel
<p><em>Ceratina ballotae</em>, female. photo: Joshua Hengel</p>
Ceratina ballotae, female. photo: Joshua Hengel