Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Rhipiphorus (widely used unjustified emendation to conform conventional English transliteration of Greek), Rhipidophorus (unjustified emendation), Dorthesia Say 1823, Myodes Latreille 1818, Myodites Latreille 1819
genus badly needs revision
Explanation of Names
Greek 'fan-bearer' (refers to male antennae)
~30 spp. in our area, ~70 spp. worldwide(1)
Body appears wasp-like...with very short elytra (looking like large tegula) and long, exposed wings...but with very un-wasp-like antennae.
Male antennae are biflabellate
(each joint with two rami/branches) and the rami usually of roughly equal size at each joint of the relatively short main axis of the antennae.
Female antennae monoflabellate (=each joint with a single ramus), the rami often tapering markedly towards the end of the antennae.
See males and females together:
Females on vegetation/flowers; males around host colonies, presumably in anticipation of newly emerging females(1)
Larvae are parasites of ground-nesting bees(1)
; in CA, mainly Nomia
Females lay eggs on flowers (often on buds). Eggs hatch into active first stadium larvae (triungulins) which hitch a ride on bees to their nests. Once there they feed on the brood: first as internal parasites, and later in their development as external parasites...a habit otherwise almost unknown in Coleoptera(2)
Adults are very short-lived: in many species the males live no longer than a day; females may be similarly short-lived but tend emerge over a longer period.
Females are more commonly seen than males because they visit flowers to deposit eggs; and males are shorter lived.
Wheeler A.J. (1997) Notes on mating behavior of Rhipiphorus luteipennis
(Coleoptera: Rhipiphoridae) [Full text
E. G. Linsley & J. W MacSwain (1950). New western species of Rhipiphoridae (Coleoptera). The Wasmann Journal of Biology, 8(2)229-239. (Full Text here
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