Ceratina (Hirashima)

Taxonomy

Family: Apidae
Subfamily: Xylocopinae
Tribe: Ceratinini
Genus: Ceratina Latreille, 1802
Subgenus: Hirashima Terzo and Pauly, 2001
Common name: small carpenter bees

Overview

Ceratina (Hirashima) have dull black coloration and deeply punctured integument (Eardley et al. 2010). The body length can be between 5–8.5 mm (Friese 1905).

Diagnostic characteristics

(modified from Pauly et al. 2001; Michener 2007; Eardley et al. 2010)

  • Area between eye and antenna with a distinct, elevated ridge.
  • Axilla sometimes, but not always, spine-like.
  • Hind tibia with a spine present towards the center (can be difficult to see among hairs).
  • Labrum as long as wide or longer.
  • Propodeum with dorsal area separated by a carina.
  • T1 and often T2T4 with apical band of white hair, at least laterally.
  • T2T4 with graduli and T5 without a gradulus.
  • T6 with median protuberance or keel.
  • Male hind femur with a ventral comb of long hairs.

May be confused with

Ceratina (Hirashima) resembles Ceratina (Ctenoceratina) in their strongly punctured black integument, spine on hind tibia, and keel or protuberance on T6. C. (Hirashima) can be distinguished by the lack of the spine-like tergal and sternal setae that are present in C. (Ctenoceratina) (Michener 2007; Pauly et al. 2001).

Host associations

Ceratina (Hirashima) have been observed visiting flowers from the following genera: Asystasia (Acanthaceae), Lantana (Verbenaceae), Lobelia (Campanulaceae), Ipomoea (Convolvulaceae), and Portulacca (Portulacaceae) (Pauly et al. 2001).

Nesting behavior

Ceratina (Hirashima) nyassensis has been known to make nests in hollow and dry stems, with only two to three cells per stem (Pauly et al. 2001).

Diversity

Ceratina (Hirashima) contains nine described species and likely several more undescribed species (Eardley et al. 2010).

Known invasives

There are no known invasives.

Distribution

The subgenus Hirashima ranges from Tanzania and Nigeria, and south to South Africa, Madagascar, and the islands of Seychelles (Michener 2007).

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

<p><em>Ceratina</em> sp. female face, photo: Joshua Hengel</p>
Ceratina sp. female face, photo: Joshua Hengel
<p><em>Ceratina</em> sp. female lateral habitus, photo: Joshua Hengel</p>
Ceratina sp. female lateral habitus, photo: Joshua Hengel
<p><em>Ceratina</em> sp. female dorsal habitus, photo: Joshua Hengel</p>
Ceratina sp. female dorsal habitus, photo: Joshua Hengel
<p><em>Ceratina nyassensis </em>male face, photo: Joshua Hengel</p>
Ceratina nyassensis male face, photo: Joshua Hengel
<p><em>Ceratina opaca </em>male lateral habitus, photo: Joshua Hengel</p>
Ceratina opaca male lateral habitus, photo: Joshua Hengel
<p><em>Ceratina</em> sp. male dorsal habitus, photo: Joshua Hengel</p>
Ceratina sp. male dorsal habitus, photo: Joshua Hengel