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.
Those that attack bees typically lay their eggs on flowers, where they hatch almost immediately into small planidium larvae that wait for a passing host. They grab onto a bee when it visits the flower, and ride it back to its nest, where they disembark and enter a cell with a host larva. The beetle larva then enters the body of the host larva, where it waits while the larva grows. When the host pupates, the beetle larva migrates to the outside of its body and begins to feed, eventually consuming it.
Fossil species in the genera Paleoripiphorus and Macrosiagon have been described from mid- to lower-Cretaceous amber from sites in France, Germany and Burma.