Day: May 21, 2013

Answer to the Monday Mystery: Ceratina

Who was our mystery blue bee?

A Ceratina small carpenter bee sends you greetings from the chives.

Five points to Alex Surcica for getting the genus, five points to Matt Bertone for picking the family (Apidae), and one point bonus point each to Alex Surcica, Étienne Normandin, and Rachel Graham for bravely attempting a species ID even though, as Doug Yanega noted on facebook,

Given the difficulty of species diagnosis in Ceratina, I’m not sure asking for the species name is much more than inciting a guess-fest.

Bees are classified in several sprawling families, and the trouble is that each seems to have its own fluffy grey bees, small metallic bees, yellow and black-striped bees, and so on. Convergence among unrelated lineages is rampant, and proper identification requires careful attention wing venation, tongue shape, and other obscure characters. Identification is not for the faint of heart, so naturally bees make great subjects for these mystery ID posts.