Ceratina (Neoceratina)

Taxonomy

Family: Apidae
Subfamily: Xylocopinae
Tribe: Ceratinini
Genus: Ceratina Latreille, 1802
Subgenus: Neoceratina Perkins, 1912
Common name: small carpenter bees

Overview

Ceratina (Neoceratina) are small, black or weakly metallic, strongly punctate bees, with pale markings that are limited to the face, the pronotal lobe, and legs. Their body length ranges from 4–6 mm (Michener 2007).

Diagnostic characteristics

(modified from Hirashima 1971a; Michener 2007)

  • Gena and frons with at least some punctation.
  • Female with graduli present T1T5 and S1S4
  • Male with graduli present T1T6 (although very weak on T6) and S1S6.
  • Male gonostylus with a downward curving small projection.
  • Male T7 elongate and extending posteriorly, its apex can be either unidentate or bidentate.
  • Male S2 with a small tubercle in the middle (except in C. nigra where it is absent).
  • Male S6 with a pair of apical projections (except for C. australensis and C. propinqua which has a median apical emargination bordered by a u-shaped carina instead).

May be confused with

Ceratina (Neoceratina) resemble those of Ceratina (Ceratina) in coloration and punctation, but they can be separated by the absence of a gradulus S5 of the female that is present in Ceratina (Ceratina). Males of Ceratina (Neoceratina) can be differentiated by the shape of T7, which is elongate and extends posteriorly into one or two long projections, rather than truncate or rounded posteriorly as in Ceratina (Ceratina) (Michener 2007).

Host associations

Ceratina (Neoceratina) dentipes visits many different floral species across its range, including Cocos nucifera (Arecaceae), Cuphea hyssopifolia (Lythraceae), Torenia polygonoides (Linderniaceae), and Tridax procumbens (Asteraceae) (Krombein 1951; Soh and Ngiam 2013; da Silva et al. 2015).

Nesting behavior

Ceratina (Neoceratina) nest in pithy stems and can be socially polymorphic, with both solitary and social nests in the same population. Solitary nests are attended by a single adult female while social colonies usually contain two, but occasionally three to four, adult females (Michener 1962, 1990; Michener et al. 2010; Rehan et al. 2009).

Diversity

Ceratina (Neoceratina) includes 13 species (Ascher and Pickering 2020).

Known invasives

Ceratina (Neoceratina) dentipes is native to Asia and is thought to be invasive throughout the South Pacific. They have been introduced and have established populations in Hawaii that were likely introduced somewhat recently through shipping traffic (Shell and Rehan 2019; Snelling 2003).

Distribution

Ceratina (Neoceratina) are known to occur in Asia, from Turkey east to Japan, and south through Indonesia and Australia (Michener 2007). One species has been introduced in Hawaii (Snelling 2003; Shell and Rehan 2019).

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

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