Ceratina (Protopithitis)


Family: Apidae
Subfamily: Xylocopinae
Tribe: Ceratinini
Genus: Ceratina Latreille, 1802
Subgenus: Protopithitis Hirashima, 1969
Common name: small carpenter bees


Ceratina (Protopithitis) consists of medium-sized bees that have strongly metallic dark blue-green integument with distinct, coarse punctation. They have a body length of about 8 mm (Michener 2007).

Diagnostic characteristics

(modified from Hirashima 1969; Eardley and Daly 2007)

May be confused with

Ceratina (Protopithitis) may be confused with some species of the Ceratina (Pithitis) because of the lack of graduli on T2 to T6, the strong punctation on the integument, and the lack of a strong basitibial plate in the female. Ceratina (Protopithitis) can be separated by the shape of the axillae, which are not produced into a spine, the absence of a carina separating basal area of propodeum from posterior surface, and the shape of T7 of the male that is bidentate in C. (Protopithitis) and rounded or pointed in C. (Pithitis).

Host associations

Host associations are unknown.

Nesting behavior

The nesting behavior of Protopithitis is unknown, but it is likely that they nest inside pithy stems and twigs as in other subgenera of Ceratina.


Ceratina (Protopithitis) includes two species; Ceratina aereola and Ceratina daressalamica (Eardley and Daly 2007; Michener 2007).

Known invasives

There are no known invasives.


Ceratina (Protopithitis) are known from Gabon to Tanzania, and south through coastal South Africa (Hirashima 1969; Eardley and Daly 2007; Michener 2007).

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

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