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Wedge-shaped beetles
Rhipiphorus diadasiae male.jpg
Ripiphorus diadasiae male
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Coleoptera
Suborder: Polyphaga
Infraorder: Cucujiformia
Superfamily: Tenebrionoidea
Family: Ripiphoridae
Gemminger & Harold, 1870[verification needed]

The family Ripiphoridae (formerly spelled Rhipiphoridae) is a cosmopolitan group of beetles, commonly known as wedge-shaped beetles, containing some 450 species. Unusual 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.[1]

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.[1][2]

Fossil species in the genera Paleoripiphorus and Macrosiagon have been described from mid- to lower-Cretaceous amber from sites in France, Germany and Burma.[3][4]


  1. ^ a b Falin, Z.H. (2002). "102. Ripiphoridae. Gemminger and Harold 1870 (1853)". In Arnett, R.H., jr.; Thomas, M.C.; Skelley, P.E.; Frank, J.H. American beetles. Volume 2. Polyphaga: Scarabaeoidea through Curculionoidea. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press LLC. pp. 431–444. doi:10.1201/9781420041231.ch6. ISBN 978-0-8493-0954-0. 
  2. ^ Lawrence, J.F.; Falin, Z.H.; Ślipiński, A. (2010). "Ripiphoridae Gemminger and Harold, 1870 (Gerstaecker, 1855)". In Leschen, R.A.B.; Beutel, R.G.; Lawrence, J.F. (volume eds.). Coleoptera, beetles. Volume 2: Morphology and systematics (Elateroidea, Bostrichiformia, Cucujiformia partim). New York: Walter de Gruyter. pp. 538–548. doi:10.1515/9783110911213.538. ISBN 3110190753. 
  3. ^ Perrichot V.; Nel A.; Neraudeau D. (2004). "Two new wedge-shaped beetles in Albo-Cenomanian ambers of France (Coleoptera: Ripiphoridae: Ripiphorinae)." (PDF). European Journal of Entomology 101: 577–581. doi:10.14411/eje.2004.081. 
  4. ^ Batelka, J; François-Marie Collomb & André Nel (2006). "Macrosiagon deuvei n. sp. (Coleoptera: Ripiphoridae) from the French Eocene amber" (PDF). Ann. soc. entomol. Fr. 42 (1): 75–78. doi:10.1080/00379271.2006.10697451.