Ceratina (Ctenoceratina)

Taxonomy

Family: Apidae
Subfamily: Xylocopinae
Tribe: Ceratinini
Genus: Ceratina Latreille, 1802
Subgenus: Ctenoceratina Daly and Moure, 1988
Common name: small carpenter bees

Overview

Ceratina (Ctenoceratina) have black integument, occasionally with metallic reflections, and pale markings limited to the head, pronotal lobes, and legs. Their body length varies between 5–9 mm (Michener 2007).

Diagnostic characteristics

(modified from Daly 1988; Michener 2007)

  • Middle tibia with a bidentate dorso-apical spine.
  • Paraocular area above the antennal socket distinctly punctate.
  • Propodeum and metanotum sloping at an obtuse angle to the scutum.
  • T2T5 and S2S5 with an apical row of coarse, thick setae.
  • Female clypeus with an ivory mark in the shape of a spot, a stripe, or hat.
  • Male mid leg without special hair brushes.
  • Male sternum 5 without subapical protuberance.

May be confused with

Ceratina (Ctenoceratina) may be confused with species in C. (Simioceratina), because they both have apical rows of coarse, sometimes scale-like setae on T2 to T5, and S2 to S5. However, unlike Simioceratina, Ctenoceratina's scutellum slopes less abruptly to join the sloping metanotum and propodeum (Eardley et al. 2010).

Host associations

Ceratina (Ctenoceratina) armata has been observed visiting the plant families Aizoaceae and Fabaceae (Ascher and Pickering 2020).

Nesting behavior

Females excavate nesting burrows in dead stems of a variety of plants. Normally, a single adult female is found in a nest, but occasionally two females can be present in one nest with brood, particularly in C. moerenhouti. Although a few adult female and male bees may be found together in empty nests during inactive seasons, they do not form large aggregations (Daly 1988).

Diversity

Ceratina (Ctenoceratina) contains ten species (Daly 1988).

Known invasives

There are no known invasives.

Distribution

Ctenoceratina is widespread in Africa, south of the Sahara, from Senegal to Ethiopia, all the way down to South Africa (Michener 2007).

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

<p><em>Ceratina armata </em>female face, photo: Joshua Hengel</p>
Ceratina armata female face, photo: Joshua Hengel
<p><em>Ceratina armata </em>female lateral habitus, photo: Joshua Hengel</p>
Ceratina armata female lateral habitus, photo: Joshua Hengel
<p><em>Ceratina armata </em>female dorsal habitus, photo: Joshua Hengel</p>
Ceratina armata female dorsal habitus, photo: Joshua Hengel
<p><em>Ceratina armata </em>male face, photo: Joshua Hengel</p>
Ceratina armata male face, photo: Joshua Hengel
<p><em>Ceratina armata </em>male lateral habitus, photo: Joshua Hengel</p>
Ceratina armata male lateral habitus, photo: Joshua Hengel
<p><em>Ceratina armata </em>male dorsal habitus, photo: Joshua Hengel</p>
Ceratina armata male dorsal habitus, photo: Joshua Hengel