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Photo#638196
''Wasp'' with bipectinate antennae and two flight wings, lateral - Ripiphorus rex - male

''Wasp'' with bipectinate antennae and two flight wings, lateral - Ripiphorus rex - Male
Albuquerque, Bernalillo County, New Mexico, USA
April 28, 2012
Size: 7.9 mm (sans antennae)
Download high resolution image here.

I found this resting on the leaf of an Alcea sp. (Hollyhock) plant not yet in bloom in Albuquerque, NM (Alameda 7.5’ quadrangle).

It looks like a wasp with bipectinate antennae and only one pair of wings capable of supporting flight. The other (front) pair are greatly reduced in size and shell-shaped. The lateral antenna filaments were much straighter and arraigned in two rows of parallel filaments in life. They vaguely resembled the lateral filaments of some moth antennae, but with the rows at an acute angle to each other instead of being coplanar. They curled during desiccation after being removed from the alcohol in which the insect was killed. At first glance, I assumed it was be a wasp-mimicking moth. Upon closer examination, it appears to be an actual wasp (UPDATE: it's a beetle!).

Followup:

I've added new images detailing four key candidate features that might distinguish R. rex from R. vierecki, as discussed in the Possible Misidentifications forum, and under Aaron Schusteff's images, assuming that they are indeed distinguishable and not synonymous.

Evans and Hogue(1), state R. rex is found in New Mexico and, "It is unique among the species of Ripiphorus in having a serrated outer edge of the middle tibiae". This is shown in the right middle leg and was the basis for moving this specimen to rex.

Vaurie(2) identifies as significant characteristics of rex "the deep and very oblique apical emargination of the first segment of the hind tarsi, the densely hairy elongate projection on the inner side of the front coxae at apex, and the median carination of the dorsal segments of the abdomen". My inner rear leg view shows a metatarsus consistent with this description. The coxal projection may be that shown in Aaron Schusteff's image. Closer inspection of a captured specimen is needed, though, to rule out this just being the underside of a right femur. Regardless, there is nothing like this seen in my specimen's ventral, posterior, ventral close, or lateral close views. None of the images of the subject species posted to date on BG appear to show a dorsal abdomenal carination. Note, though, from my posterior view that the dorsal abdomenal integument is laterally compressed and folded flat due to desiccation. It may be that the "carination" reported in the dried museum specimens used by Vaurie is an artifact of this process.

This image is derived from a stack of 67 images with a 113 µm step taken with a reversed Leitz Focotar-2 50 mm F/4.5 enlarging lens set to F/5.6 + extension tube + Nikon D300 camera, and processed with CombineZP software.

Images of this individual: tag all
''Wasp'' with bipectinate antennae and two flight wings, lateral - Ripiphorus rex - male ''Wasp'' with bipectinate antennae and two flight wings, dorsal - Ripiphorus rex - male ''Wasp'' with bipectinate antennae and two flight wings, anterior - Ripiphorus rex - male ''Wasp'' with bipectinate antennae and two flight wings, right middle leg - Ripiphorus rex - male ''Wasp'' with bipectinate antennae and two flight wings, ventral - Ripiphorus rex - male ''Wasp'' with bipectinate antennae and two flight wings, posterior - Ripiphorus rex - male ''Wasp'' with bipectinate antennae and two flight wings, ventral close - Ripiphorus rex - male ''Wasp'' with bipectinate antennae and two flight wings, lateral close - Ripiphorus rex - male ''Wasp'' with bipectinate antennae and two flight wings, inside rear leg - Ripiphorus rex - male

Double Quotes in the Titles
The double quotes are blocking the title text from the thumbnail previews. If you put your computer's mouse pointer over the image above, then you will see this. I suggest that you use single quotes, if you need to.
The double quotes will block everything to the right of them from all views, including the genus, species and gender, in all parts of the guide, including the browser and info pages. Single quotes will not do this.
Please select "edit" and replace them. Let me know if you don't understand this, OK.

 
Thanks
I never noticed that feature. I replaced the double quotes with two single quotes so they still look like double quotes.

 
OK
That's clever!

Moved
Moved from Ripiphorus vierecki.

Although it does key well to R. vierecki in Linsley and MacSwain (1), this reference does not include R. rex. Evans and Hogue (2), state R. rex is found in New Mexico and, "It is unique among the species of Ripiphorus in having a serrated outer edge of the middle tibiae". Such serrations may be seen in the above lateral image (note the right rear leg is missing). And, I have added a higher resolution image of the right middle leg, profiling the serrations.

Moved
Moved from ID Request.

It keys well to R. vierecki (1) and matches image of male.

beetle?
I think it might be Ripiphorus. Here's one of the beetles from Arizona. Looking at the posted photos for Ripiphorus, it seems a number of contributors have thought the beetles were bees or flies at first.

 
Ripiphorus vierecki?
Thanks. Those shell-shaped wings are elytra, of course. It appears to be R. vierecki. There are no males identified under the species page, but you can see one (with larger antennae) at Margarethe Brummermann's website on Arizona Beetles and such. I'll try to confirm with her.

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