Wedge-shaped Beetles


Summary 5

The family Ripiphoridae (formerly spelled Rhipiphoridae) is a cosmopolitan group of beetles, commonly known as wedge-shaped beetles, containing some 450 species. Unusually for beetles, many ripiphorids are parasitoids—different groups within the family attack different hosts, but most are associated with bees or vespid wasps, while some others are associated with cockroaches. They often have abbreviated elytra, and branched (flabellate or pectinate) antennae. Genera include Allocinops, Rhipistena and Sharpides.

SoCal Status 6

Known Species per The California Beetle Database .
Macrosaigon cruentum
Macrosaigon cruentum cruentum
Macrosaigon dimidiatum
Macrosaigon flavipenne
Ripiphorus californicus
Ripiphorus diadasiae
Ripiphorus epinomiae

General description 7

Rhipiphoridae (Wedge-Shaped Beetles)
This family consists of two major groups. The first group, consisting primarily of Macrosiagon spp., have wing-covers that are black, long, and narrow, extending beyond the abdomen. The head and pronotum are often yellow or tan. The larvae of these beetles are parasitoid on the larvae of wasps. The second group, consisting primarily of Rhipiphorus spp., are small black insects with atrophied wing-covers and a short, blunt abdomen, appearing quite unbeetle-like. The larvae of these beetles are parasitoid on the larvae of Halictid bees. The females of both groups are often found on flowers, where they lay their eggs and suck nectar. The Rhipiphorid larvae, after hatching, attach themselves to a flower-visiting host insect, and hitch a ride back to the nest. There, they search for an egg, and bore into the emerging bee or wasp larvae, eventually killing the host.

Sources and Credits

  1. (c) Patrick Randall, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA),
  2. (c) Anita Gould, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC), uploaded by Anita,
  3. (c) Jean and Fred, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC),
  4. (c) Valter Jacinto, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA),
  5. Adapted by BJ Stacey from a work by (c) Wikipedia, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA),
  6. (c) BJ Stacey, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA)
  7. (c) John Hilty, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC),

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