Comprehensive Description

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Rhipiphoridae (Wedge-Shaped Beetles)
This family consists of two major groups. The first group, consisting primarily of Macrosiagon spp., have wing-covers that are black, long, and narrow, extending beyond the abdomen. The head and pronotum are often yellow or tan. The larvae of these beetles are parasitoid on the larvae of wasps. The second group, consisting primarily of Rhipiphorus spp., are small black insects with atrophied wing-covers and a short, blunt abdomen, appearing quite unbeetle-like. The larvae of these beetles are parasitoid on the larvae of Halictid bees. The females of both groups are often found on flowers, where they lay their eggs and suck nectar. The Rhipiphorid larvae, after hatching, attach themselves to a flower-visiting host insect, and hitch a ride back to the nest. There, they search for an egg, and bore into the emerging bee or wasp larvae, eventually killing the host.


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