Currently viewing the category: "Wedge Shaped Beetles"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Mating Wedge shaped beetles
Geographic location of the bug:  Andover, NJ
Date: 08/06/2018
Time: 04:24 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I was elated today when I found a male and female M.  limbata on my mint.  The male was intent on mating with the female and, initially, she rebuffed him.  Finally, she allowed him to mount her several times – I guess his fancy head-gear finally won her over.  Now, let’s see if I can catch her parasitizing a bee…
How you want your letter signed:  Deborah Bifulco

Mating Wedge Shaped Beetles

Wow Deborah,
In the words of mom “You have the patience of a saint” and your patience paid off in getting this amazing documentation of mating Wedge Shaped Beetles,
Macrosiagon limbata. You submitted the image of the male two days ago and requested an identification, and then you followed that with the image of the female yesterday, and now, bingo. 

Mating Wedge Shaped Beetles

We believe we have taken the images out of order for our posting because we wanted to open with (please forgive the pornography reference) the money shot to better appeal to our Facebook followers.  Thanks again for all of your amazing contributions to our archives over the years.  We would also encourage you to post these images to BugGuide which has a much greater reach than our own humble website, because despite six pages of images, they have no shots documenting the mating activity.  According to BugGuide:  “They go through hypermetamorphosis. The female deposits eggs on flowers frequented by bees. The first instar is a planidum, an active larva capable of climbing on a bee or bumble bee (their hosts). They are transported to the bee nest where they behave as parasitoids. The following instars don’t have legs and feed on the bee larvae and stored pollen and nectar.”

Pair of Wedge Shaped Beetles

Thanks!  I was pretty excited to be able to watch and photograph this – made the humid 90 F day seem suddenly bearable.  I’m quite interested in their reproductive cycle and wonder if I will be able to see the larval stage?  I’ve definitely got to do some digging to get more information on these fascinating little beetles.  It doesn’t seem like there is a lot of information about them.
Thanks for the suggestion on submitting the photos to bugguide – I will definitely do that.
And thanks for being as excited as I was to see this!
Deborah Bifulco

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Female Wedge Shaped Beetle
Geographic location of the bug:  Andover, NJ
Date: 08/05/2018
Time: 03:05 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi Daniel,
As promised, here are three shots of the female M. limbata.  I watched her for quite some time, hoping I’d see her interacting with a host bee or wasp, but no luck.  There was another male on a patch of mountain mint in the garden, which I understand is one of their preferred plants.  So, maybe before their brief lives are over, I’ll be able to observe some behaviors.
How you want your letter signed:  Deborah Bifulco

Female Wedge Shaped Beetle

Hi Deborah,
Thanks so much for sending images of a Female Wedge Shaped Beetle,
Macrosiagon limbata, to accompany the image you sent a few days ago of the male from the same species.

Female Wedge Shaped Beetle

Female Wedge Shaped Beetle

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Feathery Tiara
Geographic location of the bug:  Andover, NJ
Date: 08/03/2018
Time: 03:14 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi Daniel,
I found this very festive beetle (I think?) on my common milkweed today.  I’ve gone through several searches for beetles with feathery antenna  and can’t find anything that quite matches this little guy.  The overall look of it makes me think it might be a nymph form of something.  Hoping you can ID it for me.
How you want your letter signed:  Deborah Bifulco

Wedge Shaped Beetle: Macrosiagon limbata

Dear Deborah,
This is a Wedge Shaped Beetle in the family Ripiphoridae, and thanks to this image on BugGuide, we have identified it as
Macrosiagon limbata.  This is a new species in a very underrepresented genus on our site.  According to BugGuide: “Adults on flowers of goatweed (Capraria), elderberry (Sambucus), thoroughwort (Eupatorium), beebalm (Monarda), goldenrod (Solidago), mountain mint ( Pycnanthemum),” and “They go through hypermetamorphosis. The female deposits eggs on flowers frequented by bees. The first instar is a planidum, an active larva capable of climbing on a bee or bumble bee (their hosts). They are transported to the bee nest where they behave as parasitoids. The following instars don’t have legs and feed on the bee larvae and stored pollen and nectar.”  Of the family, BugGuide notes:  “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.”  Thank you for this marvelous addition to our archives.

Thank you so very much for the ID!  I found the genus in my Beetles of Eastern NA after you gave me the id and read up a little on them.  Fascinating, and I feel so very fortunate to have seen one.  I need to start keeping a yard list of all the insects I’ve seen here. Thank you again, and have a great weekend.  I’m off to see what I can find in the garden…

You are most welcome Deborah.  There is a pretty good record of your sightings on WTB?  You can use the search engine with your name to bring them all up.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Hello again
Thanks for the last id.  I have this new insect she is stunning and I would love to know what she is. I have no idea I looked up but could not find any information.
thanks Terri Martin

Dear Terri,
In the future, please use our standard form for submissions which is located by clicking the
Ask What’s That Bug? link on our site.
Where are you located?  Do you have a dorsal image of this insect’s back?

Probably Cedar Beetle

Wedge Shaped Beetle

Ed. Note:  The small staff of What’s That Bug? does not have the time to try to track down previous submissions to our site from folks who prefer to respond to previous communications from us rather than using our standard form which request certain information and also provides a standard formatting for our postings.

Hi again Terri,
We took the time to track down your name in our archives, as we are guessing you are the same Terri Martin who submitted an image of
Gaurotes cyanipennis for identification in May.  If we are correct, we are then going to assume that this request is also from Baltimore, Ontario.  Because it takes so much additional time to track down previous submissions, we would normally have pitched this request right into the trash, and the only thing that prevented that is that your images are stunningly beautiful, and if we are correct, they are of a male Cedar BeetleSandalus niger, an underrepresented species on our site, though BugGuide has no submissions from Canada.  As we mentioned in our initial response, we wish you had provided a dorsal view.  Additionally, we have contacted Eric Eaton to corroborateour identification.

Correction Courtesy of Eric Eaton
Dear Daniel:
No.  LOL!  Good guess, though, given the angles in these images.  Did you take them?  This is a “wedge-shaped beetle” in the family Ripiphoridae.  Probably Ripiphorus sp., but there are other, similar genera.  They are parasites, in the larval stage, of solitary bees.  Their small size, and the short wing-covers, distinguish them from the cicada parasite beetle you mentioned.
Eric
author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America
http://bugeric.blogspot.com/

Wedge Shaped Beetle

Wedge Shaped Beetle

Thanks Sorry Daniel I was so excited seeing this guy.  I do have a back shot I will attach here.
I found it in Courtice, Ontario  (Courtice Arena)  Prestonvale st.
I will use the correct process next time.
Thanks agian Terri

Wedge Shaped Beetle

Wedge Shaped Beetle

Thanks so much for providing this dorsal view of a Wedge Shaped Beetle.  Eric Eaton provided us with a corrected identification.  We want to thank you again for submitting such excellent images.

Wedge Shaped Beetle

Wedge Shaped Beetle

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is it?
Location: New Jersey
July 13, 2014 8:46 pm
I saw this bug sipping the nectar of a butterfly weed plant – asclepias.
Thanks so much for your help!
Signature: Bridget

Wedge-Shaped Beetle

Wedge-Shaped Beetle

Dear Bridget,
We now do most of our research online, but in the case of your unusual beetle, we turned to our brand new copy of Beetles of Eastern North America by Arthur V. Evans and we quickly identified your beetle as
Macrosiagon flavipenne, one of the Wedge-Shaped Beetles in the family Ripiphoridae.  According to Evans:  “Adult Ripiphrids live for only a few days and information on their lives is fragmentary.  They rest on low grasses or flowers and meet in mating swarms.  The comblike antennae on the male persumably increase its ability to locate females emitting sexual pheromones. …  All species undergo hypermetamorphosis.  Early instars feed internally on the larvae of other insects, whereas the later stages feed externally on their hosts. …   Macrosiagon larvae parasitize wasps in several families, including Vespidae, Sphecidae, Crabronidaeand Tiphidae.  Of the species Macrosiagon flavipenne, Evans writes:  “Abdomen black (male) or red (female). … Adults active in summer, found mainly on flowers.”  There is a differing spelling of the species name on BugGuide, where it is listed as Macrosiagon flavipennis.  BugGuide also notes:  “Females lay eggs on flowers. Eggs hatch into an active larva that attaches itself to visiting wasp. It is carried back to wasp nest where it burrows into a host larva.”

Wedge-Shaped Beetle

Wedge-Shaped Beetle

Thank you so much for identifying the beetle. I’ve been trying to figure it out for days. You’re the best!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Beautiful looking antler(ed) bee
Location: Milton, Ontario
September 1, 2013 6:35 pm
Hi
I’m starting to take macro shots of insects, I found this ’bee’ on a trip to an apple orchard, the little guy was holding a weird looking leave of one of the apple trees. I was able to take a couple of nice pictures of it, profile and front. I haven’t seen anything like this before. I was wondering if you could help me identify it
Thanks!!
Signature: DrZhark

Wedge Shaped Beetle

Wedge Shaped Beetle, genus Ripiphorus

Dear DrZhark,
We are very excited with your submission, which we believe creates a new genus on our site.  Though your insect resembles a bee, the antennae are very characteristic of certain beetles, especially Scarabs.  We did some research and quickly found a family on BugGuide known as the Wedge Shaped Beetles, Ripiphoridae, which is described as:  “Small to medium-sized beetles, sometimes found on flowers. Many have fan-like (flabellate) antennae, esp. males. Abdomen blunt. Tarsal formula 5-5-4.”  Within that family is a genus
 Ripiphorus which is described on BugGuide as:  “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, i.e. with two rami (= side-branches) at each joint, and the rami usually of roughly equal size at each joint of the relatively short main axis of the antennae.”  BugGuide also notes:  “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(3)  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” and “Females are more commonly seen than males because they visit flowers to deposit eggs; and males are shorter lived.  The genus badly needs revision; only a fraction of spp. can be confidently identified.”  We will contact Eric Eaton to see if he can add any information.

Wedge Shaped Beetle, genus Ripiphorus

Wedge Shaped Beetle, genus Ripiphorus

Daniel:
Not only do I agree with the identification, but I learned a few things about these beetles I did not know before myself!  Like, how short-lived they are.  I think the information you provide through the Bugguide page is more than thorough.  Nice work.
Eric

Thank you for your help, and running your magnificent web site.
I had no idea the beetle was rare, I only thought it was unusual. I was very lucky to have found it =).  I left it unharmed and moved on.
I have higher resolution versions of the pictures:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/99458228@N05/9639763141/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/99458228@N05/9642999006
Thanks again

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination