Ceratina (Zadontomerus)

Taxonomy

Family: Apidae
Subfamily: Xylocopinae
Tribe: Ceratinini
Genus: Ceratina Latreille, 1802
Subgenus: Zadontomerus Ashmead, 1899
Common name: small carpenter bees

Overview

Ceratina (Zadontomerus) is the most diverse Ceratina subgenus in North America. They have black, weakly metallic integument and sometimes pale maculations that are limited to the head, pronotal lobe, and legs. Their body length varies from 4–12 mm, but is usually between 5–7 mm (Michener 2007).

Diagnostic characteristics

(modified from Daly 1973; Michener 2007)

  • Front and middle tibiae each with a single, small apical spine.
  • Gena and paraocular areas with distinct punctures.
  • Maxillary palpi 6-segmented.
  • Preoccipital ridge carinate.
  • Pronotal collar with transverse carina medially and rounded laterally.
  • T2T5 and S2S3 with graduli present.
  • Female mandible 3-toothed.
  • Male mandible bidentate.
  • Male T6 with a dense median tuft of hair which may conceal a subapical protuberance (except Ceratina diodonta which lacks hair and protuberance).
  • Male T7 with a flat, median-apical projection.

May be confused with

Ceratina (Zadontomerus) may be confused with species of Ceratina (Ceratinula), but they can be separated by the punctuation on the face and the presence of a preoccipital carina, which is absent in Ceratina (Ceratinula).

Host associations

Ceratina (Zadontomerus) have been observed visiting flowers from a broad spectrum of genera in multiple plant families including Amaranthaceae, Amygdaloideae, Apiaceae, Asteraceae, Boraginaceae, Brassicaceae, Cactaceae, Cannaceae, Caryophyllaceae, Ericaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Fabaceae, Grossulariaceae, Hypericaceae, Iridaceae, Lamiaceae, Malvaceae, Nelumbonaceae, Oleaceae, Onagraceae, Paeoniaceae, Papaveraceae, Phrymaceae, Plantaginaceae, Polemoniaceae, ‎Polygonaceae, Ranunculaceae, Rhamnaceae, Rosaceae, Salicaceae, Tropaeolaceae, Verbenaceae, and Vitaceae (Michener and Eickwort 1966; Daly 1973).

Nesting behavior

Ceratina (Zadontomerus) have been found nesting in pithy stems and twigs of plants in multiple families including; sumac (Anacardiaceae), teasel (Caprifoliaceae), and raspberry (Rosaceae) (Rehan and Richards 2010; Vickruck et al. 2010). They have also been observed reusing the nests of Ceratina ignara (Michener and Eickwort 1966).

Diversity

Ceratina (Zadontomerus) includes 29 described species (Ascher and Pickering 2020).

Known invasives

There are no known invasives.

Distribution

Ceratina (Zadontomerus) occur from Quebec to British Columbia in Canada, south throughout North and Central America to northern Colombia and Venezuela (Michener 2007).

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

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