Genus: Ceratina Latreille, 1802
Subgenus: Neoceratina Perkins, 1912
Common name: small carpenter bees
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).
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).
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).
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).
Ceratina (Neoceratina) includes 13 species (Ascher and Pickering 2020).
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).
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).