Family Ripiphoridae - Wedge-shaped Beetles
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Coleoptera (Beetles)
Suborder Polyphaga (Water, Rove, Scarab, Long-horned, Leaf and Snout Beetles)
No Taxon (Series Cucujiformia)
Superfamily Tenebrionoidea (Fungus, Bark, Darkling and Blister Beetles)
Family Ripiphoridae (Wedge-shaped Beetles)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Rhipiphoridae (common in older litterature)
Explanation of Names
~50 spp. in 6 genera in our area, ~400 spp. in ~40 genera worldwide(1)(2)
; local faunas: 9 spp. in 3 genera in Canada(3)
, 10(3) in NC(4)
, 11(3) in FL(5)
, 21(2) in CA(6)
, 5(2) in NH & ME(7)
, 6(3) in OK(8)
4 out of 5 subfamilies are represented in our area
Small to medium-sized beetles, sometimes found on flowers. Many have fan-like (flabellate
) antennae, esp. males. Abdomen blunt. Tarsal formula 5-5-4.
Genera of our fauna are rather easy to tell apart based on appearance; species identification of Ripiphorus may be extremely difficult even with specimens in hand.
In the east, Macrosiagon
are usually black and red to yellow, ca. 9 mm, with elytra almost covering abdomen, and scutellum covered by pronotum; Rhipiphorus
have very short elytra and are smaller, ~4-6 mm; and Pelecotoma flavipes
(4-5 mm) has full-length elytra and is piceous-black with yellowish appendages(9)
Worldwide and throughout much of NA, more diverse towards the south; in our area, Ripiphorus
are widespread, Pelecotoma
ranges throughout ne. US and adjacent Canada, 2 genera are restricted to sw. US (OK-TX-AZ), and one to FL(1)
Parasitize bees/wasps (Ripiphorinae), wood-boring beetle larvae (Pelecotominae), cockroaches (Ripidiinae)(1)
; bee/wasp parasites lay eggs on/near flowers, sometimes inside flower buds. Larvae attach to visiting bees and are taken back to nest, where they are internal parasites of larval hymenoptera, in some cases only in early stages. Some are reported to feed on leaves in later stages. Adults are short-lived.(13)(14)(15)
Ripiphorid triungulins (1st instar larvae) under bee's abdomen:
|1.||American Beetles, Volume II: Polyphaga: Scarabaeoidea through Curculionoidea|
Arnett, R.H., Jr., M. C. Thomas, P. E. Skelley and J. H. Frank. (eds.). 2002. CRC Press LLC, Boca Raton, FL.
|9.||How to Know the Beetles|
Ross H. Arnett, N. M. Downie, H. E. Jaques. 1980. Wm. C. Brown Publishers.
|12.||The Rhipiphoridae of California (Coleptera)|
Linsley E.G., MacSwain J.W. 1951. Bull. Calif. Insect Surv. 1: 79-88.
|13.||Peterson Field Guides: Beetles|
Richard E. White. 1983. Houghton Mifflin Company.
|14.||A Dictionary of Entomology|
George Gordh, David H. Headrick. 2003. CABI Publishing.
Howard Ensign Evans, Mary Jane West Eberhard. 1970. University of Michigan Press.